Xavier Tondo Dies in Home Accident
Passionate Spaniard crushed between his car and garage door.
Police say Spanish pro cyclist Xavier Tondo has died in a tragic accident after he was crushed between his car and a garage door in southern Spain.
Juan Carlos Lopez, spokesman for the Civil Guard force in Granada, says Tondo was killed Monday when he was trying to drive his car out of a garage in a residential complex outside Granada.
Lopez says the 32-year-old Tondo got out of the car to try to get the metal garage door to open but his car rolled forward and pinned him against the door.
Cadena SER radio says Tondo was with fellow cyclist Benat Intxausti and the two were leaving to go training.
Tondo, winner of this year's Vuelta a Castilla y Leon tour, was planning to take part in the 2011 Tour de France with the Movistar team. Tondo also rode to a beautiful victory in stage 6 of the 2010 Paris-Nice and won stage three of the 2010 Volta a Catalunya.
Roadcycling.com's Thomas A. Valentinsen, who met with Tondo while Tondo was riding for Cervelo TestTeam last year, had high hopes for Tondo's performance in the 2011 Tour de France and will remember Tondo as a passionate and emphatic man. "One of the few people you would be truly honored to have as a close friend."
"My sincere condolences to his family," Tour de France winner and current Giro d'Italia leader Alberto Contador wrote on Twitter and added "He was an amazing person who loved this sport as anyone. I'll miss you very much. Rest in peace." Contador cancelled his Giro press conference in respect of Tondo.
Former teammate Ted King (now with Team Liquigas) wrote "May Xavi Tondo be remembered by his ear to ear smile and continual laughter. He's the most enthusiastic, fun loving teammate I've ever had."
Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre wrote "I knew both the human and sporting sides of Xavier Tondo. It has been a great blow."
Acccording to Tondo's former team owner, when with Cervelo TestTeam, Gerard Vroomen Tondo was the glue which keeps it all together and the type of rider who makes every obstacle an opportunity "When many dropped out of Amstel 2010 b/c the volcano stopped flights, Tondo drove 2500k b/c he didn't want to miss it."
Earlier this year Tondo admirably assisted the Spanish authorities in unraveling a doping organization when he passed on emails, in which he had been offered illegal doping substances, to the proper authorities.