Xavier Tondo died on Monday morning after suffering a freak accident at home in Granada. According to reports in the Spanish press, Tondo’s garage door fell on him as he was preparing to leave for a training ride in the company of teammate Beñat Intxausti.
The news of Tondo's death was confirmed by Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue, who explained that he did not yet have the full details of how the accident took place. It is still unclear precisely how the accident took place, but it is understood that Tondo and Intxausti were planning to ride up Sierra Nevada as they continued their build-up to the Tour de France.
The 32-year-old Tondo turned professional in 2003 with Paternina. He signed for Movistar at the beginning of this season, after an impressive 2010 campaign with Cervélo TestTeam, which included a 6th place finish at the Vuelta a España. In Movistar colours he captured the Vuelta a Castilla y León and was set to be a mainstay of the squad’s Tour de France plans.
Tondo’s fellow countryman Alberto Contador led the tributes via Twitter. “Life is so unjust and difficult to understand at certain moments, it’s impossible to describe my feelings on the death of Xavi Tondo,” Contador wrote. “My most sincere condolences to his family. He was an incredible person who loved this sport like nobody else. You will be missed. Rest in peace.”
The Giro d'Italia organisers have said that there will be a minute's silence before tomorrow's stage in Tondo's memory.