Promising young Belgian bicyclist Tijl De Decker died on Friday at age 22 at a hospital in Antwerp from injuries he sustained during a training crash on Wednesday in Lier, according to Cycling News.
De Decker was a racer with Lotto-Dstny's development squad, and had won the under-23 Paris-Roubaix in early May. He also won the Tour de Taiwan and took second at the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic.
He would have been promoted to the professional team in 2024.
De Decker crashed into the back of a car while training on Wednesday and underwent surgery at a hospital in Lier before being transferred to Antwerp University Hospital on Wednesday night.
“It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our rider Tijl De Decker. Today Tijl (22) has lost his battle to recover from the severe injuries he sustained after his crash on training last Wednesday,” a statement from Lotto-Dstny read.
“Despite the best efforts of the staff at the hospital, Tijl couldn’t make it through and this morning he lost his battle.”
“We are devastated by the loss of our cyclist,” team CEO Stéphane Heulot said on Friday. “Tijl showed big progression this year and we believed in his growth margin. Stepping up to the pro team was a logical choice."
“Unfortunately he will never turn pro and we will always remember him as a talented young rider and a warm and friendly person off the bike. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time,” she continued.
Lotto Dstny also posted about the loss on the X platform saying the team is "heartbroken" at the loss.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tijl De Decker, following a training accident past Wednesday.
The team is heartbroken by this news and sends all of its love and thoughts to Tijl’s family and loved ones in this incredibly difficult time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Sq8HnndiJF
— Lotto Dstny (@lotto_dstny) August 25, 2023
Police are now investigating the crash to find out exactly what occurred.
A statement from Lier police about the crash read, “The cyclist was seriously injured and taken to hospital. A traffic expert from the public prosecutor’s office has arrived on site, an investigation is underway into the exact circumstances. I can confirm that a passenger car was involved in the accident.”
De Decker is the second prominent cyclist to die in the last few months in the pursuit of the sport.
GinoMader, a Swiss cyclist, crashed and fell into a ravine at the Tour de Suisse in June.