By Le Figaro with AFP
Belgian cyclist Tijl De Decker, winner of Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in the spring, died Friday at the age of 22, two days after an accident in training, announced his team, Lotto-Dstny.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Tijl De Decker, following his training accident on Wednesday“wrote the training on X (formerly Twitter). “The team is heartbroken by this news and sends all their love and thoughts to Tijl’s family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.De Decker had violently crashed into the back of a car during practice. Transported to Lierre hospital (Antwerp), he had undergone surgery before being transferred to the University Hospital of Antwerp (UZA). He had been placed in an artificial coma. Winner of stages on the Tour of Taiwan at the start of the year and at the Tour of Alsace in July, the young Belgian had above all distinguished himself by winning Paris-Roubaix among the Espoirs. He signed a professional contract with Lotto-Dstny in early July.
“We were convinced of Tijl’s room for improvement. His move to the pros was a logical evolution. Unfortunately, we will never get there. We will remember Tijl as a warm and sweet boysaid the Belgian team’s French manager Stéphane Heulot. Lotto-Dstiny is again bereaved, four years after the death of Bjorg Lambrecht, also 22, after a heavy fall during the Tour of Poland 2019. On Friday, the riders will wear a black armband for the 3rd stage of the Tour du Benelux in tribute to their deceased teammate.