The Swiss rider has announced on social media that for each rider he beats on a stage he will add one Euro to his collective fund, and has so far already raised over €1000.
“That’s pretty cheap for each rider. But I hope it’s going to be a good sum by the end of the Vuelta,” Mader told Cyclingnews.
“It’s going well. I already found some people who joined me in my little project.”
The mountains, where a skilled climber like Mader should be at his strongest, are yet to come.
“I hope I can make some more money there,” he said, adding that he has yet to decide which charity will receive the money.
“I have left it open, so I can get the opportunity to learn about some new charities, and I’ve asked people on Twitter if they have some suggestions for me about them,” he explained.
“It’s super interesting because I got more than 100 proposed charities now. I will choose the one that gets the most ‘likes’ from people because that will tell me where people think their money is best spent.”
“I have a lot of suggestions and I’m surely going to do this again so I’ll have a bit of variety for the next one, too.”
At the same time, Mäder is also fully engaged in his team work for Mikel Landa in the Vuelta with whom he has followed parallel paths in the Grand Tours this year.
Mäder crashed out of the Giro d’Italia a few days after Landa quit the same race injured. A few days prior, the Swiss rider won a first week summit finish stage above Ascoli Piceno. Now both are taking part in their second Grand Tour race of the season in Spain.
“As long as we have Mikel here, he’s our top priority, it’s all for one and one for all. And I’ll give my last drop of energy to him,” Mäder said, explaining there is no freedom for stage victory opportunities.
The 24-year-old has raced the Vuelta once before, taking 20th in 2020 and claiming second overall on the final mountain stage. That experience of the race is useful but only up to a point.
“It’s such a different race this year. For one thing the temperatures are much higher, for another it’s been a long season. This is not like last year, which was only three months from start to finish,” Mäder pointed out.
“Everything here is more settled down and set in stone. We should still see some exciting races though.”
Mäder is more confident of Landa’s overall chances.
“He’s looking great as always and there’s nothing more to add,” he said.
“Obviously his preparation was not as perfect as before the Giro because he hasn’t had so much racing before. But sometimes a little bit of a break is also good. You recover and you can have a little bit of bounce back. I’m sure he’s keen to race and we do all we can for him.”
And if, in the process, Mäder can raise some money for a good cause, then so much the better.
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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