Erwin Wildhaber, the mechanic for the Scott-Swisspower Mountain Bike Team, died in an accident while on a mountain hike on Monday.
Wildhaber was out with Thomas Frischknecht and Andreas Seeli, who both suffered injuries in the incident. All three Scott-Swisspower team staff members were on the Chöpfenberg mountain in Switzerland when Wildhaber fell on a descent according to www.ride.ch.
On the way down on a steep, grassy slope, Erwin slipped and fell, taking out the other two. All three were quickly rolling and falling downhill at high speed. Seeli and Frischknecht came to a stop after about 200m while Wildhaber, who had lost consciousness, fell over a ledge and died.
Frischknecht broke his foot, and Seeli was seriously injured with multiple fractures.
Wildhaber worked as a mechanic for the Scott-Swisspower team and its top racers Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel, and he was the driving force behind them adopting the 27.5-inch wheel platform. Wildhaber also served as a Swiss national team mechanic, including at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Cross country world champion Schurter paid tribute to Wildhaber two days after the accident on Wednesday night, at the Swiss Cycling Awards ceremony in Zurich, where he was named Swiss Cyclist of the year.
"I dedicate all my prizes and results that I have achieved this year to my friend and former mechanic Erwin," said Schurter according to ride.ch. "It is huge, what I experienced with him."
Cyclingnews extends its condolences to the family and friends of Erwin Wildhaber.