Tijl De Decker, a talented young Belgian cyclist who won the Paris-Roubaix U23 race this year, has died in a training accident in the small town of Lier, near Antwerp.
De Decker, 22, was taken to Antwerp University Hospital for surgery on Wednesday after the incident and was later placed in an induced coma.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Tijl De Decker after a training accident last Wednesday,” his team Lotto Dstny announced on social media. “The team is heartbroken at this news and sends all their love and thoughts to Tijl’s family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”
In a statement to the Belgian news agency Het Nieuwsblad, Lier police suspected that De Decker was hit by a motorist.
“The accident occurred on a public road outside the center,” the statement said. “The cyclist was seriously injured and hospitalized … A traffic expert from the public prosecutor’s office arrived at the scene and the exact circumstances are being investigated. I can confirm that a car was involved in the accident.”
De Decker signed his first professional contract in July after impressing for Lotto-Dstny’s reserve team with a podium finish at Brussels-Opwijk and a stage win at the Tour of Taiwan, and was preparing to make the senior team next year to ascend
His death came just two months after Swiss rider Gino Mader died in a fall down a ravine at the Tour de Suisse.