24 May 2011

Spanish cyclist dies in freak accident

6:12 am on 24 May 2011

The Spanish cyclist Xavier Tondo was killed in a freak accident in which he was crushed between his car and a garage door at a ski resort in southern Spain.

The 32-year-old Tondo was in his car about to leave the garage of an apartment building of the Sierra Nevada resort Tuesday morning to continue training for the Tour de France.

A police source in the nearby city of Granada says for reasons that remain unclear, he got out of the vehicle and became trapped between his car and the automatic door of the garage.

The source says "it appears" that Tondo died instantly.

The manager of his Movistar team, Eusebio Unzue, says another Spanish professional cyclist, Benat Intxausti of the Euskaltel team, was in the vehicle at the time.

Tondo, who turned professional in 2003, won the Tour of Castilla y Leon last month, succeeding his controversial compatriot Alberto Contador and also won the Tour of Portugal in 2007 and came sixth overall in the Tour of Spain last year.

Contador voiced his shock and sadness at the death saying on Twitter, "How life is unfair and sometimes difficult to understand, I can't describe how I feel after the death of Xavi Tondo".

"My most sincere condolences to his family. He was an incredible person who loved this sport like nobody else. You will be sorely missed. Rest in peace."