Belgian rider Tijl De Decker has died at the age of 22, following injuries sustained in a training crash on Wednesday. The announcement was made by the Lotto-Dstny team on Friday.
During this season, De Decker competed for Lotto-Dstny’s development squad and had a huge victory in the under-23 Paris-Roubaix race in early May. He was set to join the WorldTour team in 2024.
While training, he was involved in a high-impact collision with the back of a car, leading to severe injuries that necessitated his immediate transportation to a hospital in Lier.
The crash resulted in significant blood loss, and he was put into a coma at the hospital.
On Friday, the team issued a statement. “Tijl crashed hard into the backside of a car and was brought to the hospital in Lier where he immediately underwent surgery. Later that evening he was transported to the Antwerp University Hospital,” the post 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. Tijl showed big progression this year and we believed in his growth margin. Stepping up to the pro team was a logical choice,” the CEO of Lotto-Dstny, Stéphane Heulot said. “Unfortunately, he will never turn pro. We will always remember him as a talented young rider. He was also 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.”
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