Team Movistar's Xavier Tondo killed in freak domestic accident

32 year old rider hit by garage door as he left for training ride

by Tony Farrelly   May 23, 2011  

Xavier Tondo takes 3rd in Stage 11 of the 2010 Vuelta (copyright Unipublic:Graham Watson)

Team Movistar rider Xavier Tondo was killed this morning after what was described as a 'domestic accident' in local reports.

Tondo, 32 is thought to have dropped his garage door as he was leaving for a training ride in the Sierra Nevada mountains with his team mate Beñat Inxtausti; earlier reports said he was going to ride with Alejandro Valverde. His failure to turn up apparently led to the alarm being raised.

The Catalan rider, who turned pro in 2003 won this year's edition of the Tour of Castillia and Leon and came 6th in last year's Vuelta where he rode in support of Carlos Sastre on the Cervelo Test Team, he also won stage 6 of last year's Paris Nice.

Tondo was also recently in the news when he informed the Catalan police of an approach by a doping ring based in Girona - information which proved helpful to Operacion Cursa which led to a number of raids and arrests.

Everyone at sends their deepest sympathies to his family.

Gerard Vroomen, co-owner of Cervelo TestTeam which Tondo rode for last year, wrote on his blog about the shock he felt on hearing this morning’s news and described the Spaniard as one of those riders who formed "the glue” that helped hold the team together. He also highlighted that Tondo’s death had come just at the point when his career had moved up a gear.

“He rode for the TestTeam for just one year, in 2010,” said Vroomen. “I met him only a half dozen times, but he was special. I never saw him upset or angry, he was always smiling, always friendly, not a bad bone in his body.

"For years and years he tried to break into the big league, but he was somehow always overlooked. Whatever the reason, it hadn’t seemed to affect him. He just loved cycling – anywhere, in any race and with anyone – and was simply happy that in 2010, he finally got his chance and he took it.”

He added that even after it was announced that the team was wound up at the end of last season, unlike some of his fellow riders Tondo had been happy to help fulfill the brand’s commitments to its dealers, travelling to Portugal to take them riding during Cervelo's annual dealer meeting.

Reflecting on the reading registered on Tondo’s heart rate monitor after one particular ride on that trip that the dealers had found particularly taxing, Vroomen concluded: “A big heart in more ways than one. RIP.”


5 user comments

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Terrible news. RIP Xavier.

posted by Noriko [20 posts]
23rd May 2011 - 10:41

1 Like


posted by dlp [51 posts]
23rd May 2011 - 10:55


Awful news, El Pais reported that Inxtausti was with him at the time and they had arranged to meet Samuel Sanchez & Alejandro Valverde for a training session in Sierra Nevada.

Sad month for the peloton this.
Xavi Tondo, descansa en paz.

posted by manxfelipe [57 posts]
23rd May 2011 - 21:26

1 Like

a great shame

posted by a.jumper [727 posts]
24th May 2011 - 0:32


RIP Xavier. Top rider and by all accounts a top man.

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1299 posts]
24th May 2011 - 12:28

1 Like