The Cyclingnews' reporters on assignment in Gent, Laura Weislo and Brecht Decaluwé, are still coming to terms with this tragic day. Our Belgian reporter, Brecht Decaluwé, talked to Isaac Gálvez Lopez only last Wednesday between two events in the Gent Six Day.
"Isaac [Galvez] had just finished the first Madison of the evening where he had another - minor - crash after a bad rotation with his team mate Llaneras. Both of them were laughing about the incident, joking that crashes are an element in track racing… the duo complained that they didn't like the track in Gent as it was shorter than most other tracks," Decaluwé said.
Our Belgian reporter first came into contact with the Spanish sprinter during the last Tour de France and gradually warmed to his personality. "He appeared to be a grouchy person but I found out him to be a great guy. He always felt that he didn't get the respect he deserved from the Spanish press as they don't have an eye for sprinters if they're not called Oscar Freire.
"He was unhappy with his results during the first week of the Tour (second and sixth), claiming he only would be happy with a win. Freire won that day…" he said. Galvez was enjoying the best time of his life, being world champion in the Madison and having a happy family life.
"Galvez was a real family man and he remembered that I took a picture of him, his wife and his family during the Tour (de France). So on Wednesday, Galvez was so happy to tell me he got married recently. He was looking forward to performing well in the races he won last year, but his main goal would be winning the Madison during the world championships in Mallorca.
" Performing well on home soil together with his compatriot and racing partner since 1999 - Juan Llaneras - was his dream. His wife, family and friends including many riders like Oscar Pereiro Sio and Juan Llaneras will miss this good person, the same counts for me and everybody else here at Cyclingnews," Decaluwé said.
Cyclingnews wishes to extend its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Isaac Gálvez.