Lotto Dstny development rider Tijl De Decker is in an induced coma following a training crash on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Belgian, winner of this year's under-23 Paris-Roubaix, collided with a car while out riding and was rushed to hospital.
Lotto Dstny confirmed the accident in a statement shared on Wednesday evening, writing that their “thoughts and prayers” are with the young rider.
The team then issued an update on Thursday to say that De Decker is "severely injured" and has been medically placed in a coma.
The original statement read: “Lotto Dstny Devo rider Tijl De Decker was involved in a crash today during a training ride. The rider crashed hard into the backside of a car and was brought to the hospital in Lier where he underwent surgery. Later today he was transported to the UZA (Antwerp University Hospital).
“More news about the consequences of the accident will follow after Tijl will undergo further examinations over there. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with Tijl.
“Please all, respect the privacy of Tijl and his family, friends and the riders and staff of the team. We will communicate when we can.”
A photo posted by on
The 22-year-old has spent this season riding with the Belgian squad’s reserve team, and finished fourth in the under-23 road race at the National Championships on Sunday. He is scheduled to make the step up to the first team next season.
In a statement shared with Het Nieuwsblad, a local police spokesperson confirmed an investigation is currently ongoing regarding an accident with a cyclist.
Magalie Derboven of Lier police said: “The accident took place on a public road, outside the centre. The cyclist was seriously injured and taken to hospital. It remains to be seen how his condition evolves. A traffic expert from the public prosecutor's office has arrived on site, an investigation is underway into the exact circumstances. I can confirm that a passenger car was involved in the accident.”
In May this year, De Decker took the biggest victory of his career so far, winning Paris-Roubaix Espoirs with a solo attack. His first professional win came in March at the Tour de Taiwan, where he triumphed on stage three.
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