Spanish cycling extends its mourning. On August 8, the sport suffered the death of Federico Martín Bahamontes, and today, just over a week later, the death of another legend was confirmed. Guillermo Timoner, considered the pioneer of track cycling in Spain, has died at the age of 97.
Born in Felanich, a town located in the southeast of the island of Mallorca, on March 24, 1926. Timoner was a carpenter as a young man and his talent on two wheels was discovered by the need to get around by bicycle to go to work. This is how a legendary story was born that opened the doors of Spanish cycling.
In 1945 he was proclaimed champion of Spain for the first time, in Tortosa. From there, it was a success without equal. He was proclaimed world track champion six times, the first Spanish cyclist to be number one on the planet. It was in Milan, in 1955, when he put Spain on the world cycling map. Then came triumphs in Amsterdam in 1959, Leipzig in 1960, again in Milan in 1962, Paris in 1964 and finally, at home, in San Sebastián in 1965, all in the middle distance modality after a motorcycle.
His life was cycling and as such he never got away from it. After his retirement, he was national coach between 1971 and 1978, which led him to participate in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Without a doubt, cycling in Spain would not be understood without the mark left by Timoner.
For the memory there will be a tribute made at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, in his honor and also of Federico Martín Bahamontes. Almost as if fate had wanted that distant August 28, 1964 to honor two legends that in the same August, but 64 years later, would leave all of Spanish cycling in mourning.
That day Bahamontes celebrated the conquest of his first Tour de France, while Timoner celebrated his world title in Paris. Both, from France to the field of Real Madrid, converted into a velodrome for the public to surrender at the feet of two fathers of the sport who now, together like that date, have departed.