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 road.cc 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.”
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.