The 23-year-old died after suffering a heart attack, according to reports

Tributes have been paid to ‘jovial and kind’ rider Jimmy Duquennoy who died unexpectedly over the weekend.

His team WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic team confirmed on social media on Saturday that the 23-year-old had died at his home.

The Belgian joined the professional continental outfit from the continental division in 2017.

A statement from his team said: “[We] learned on Saturday morning of the terrible and unbearable news of the death of Jimmy Duquennoy.

“Jimmy died unexpectedly on Friday night at his home. He was 23.

“This young man was the most jovial, kindest and most open.

“The entire team sends its deepest condolences to Jimmy’s family and relatives.”

WB-Aqua Protect were due to field a team in Paris-Tours on Sunday but pulled out after news of Duquennoy’s death broke.

Riders and staff have paid tribute to the youngster, including team owner Yvan Ostyn.

He said: “With great sadness we hear of the unexpected death of our young promising rider Jimmy Duquennoy.

“In the name of all the staff and myself, we wish to the family and friends our sincere and deepest condolences.”

The youngster is believed to have suffered a heart attack.

Duquennoy rode Paris-Roubaix for the first time in April, finishing in 16th.

He had picked up a number of top 10 and top 20 place finishes in European one-day races during his career.

Fellow Belgian ride Philippe Gilbert tweeted a picture of Duquennoy after his death, with the caption “no words”.

A minute silence was held before the Under-23 Paris-Tours race in memory of Duquennoy, who competed in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Earlier this year, Cycling Weekly reported on the death of Veranda’s Willems-Crelan rider Michael Goolaerts.

The 23-year-old Belgian died after suffering a cardiac arrest during the 2018 edition of Paris-Roubaix.

Goolaerts crashed on the Briastre cobble sector with just over 150km remaining in the race, with television footage showing that the Belgian had appeared to have crashed alone.