Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team rider Chad Young succumbs to injuries sustained after crashing during the Tour of the Gila on Sunday

Twenty-one-year-old American rider Chad Young died on Friday evening after he sustained serious head injuries as the result of a crash during a race on Sunday.

Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team general manager Axel Merckx released a statement on Saturday confirming the news.

“I am very sorry to let everyone know that Chad Young did not survive his crash last Sunday,” wrote Merckx on the team’s website. “He passed away Friday evening, surrounded by his family.

“We lost a friend, a teammate and a family member. I have no words that can express my pain over this loss. I can only say that I am very thankful to have known him and that I feel privileged to have been able to share in his passion for cycling.

“Thank you for the outpouring of love and support over the past few days. We ask that you keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

“May he rest in peace.”

Young crashed on a descent on the final stage of the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico on Sunday. He was helicoptered urgently to hospital in Tucson, Arizona, for treatment.

On Friday, the team issued a statement saying that he was not expected to recover from his injuries.

Riders, fans and teams from across the cycling world have expressed their shock and grief at Young’s untimely death.