The Belgian cycling talent Tijl De Decker died as a result of his serious training accident. “Despite the best efforts of the hospital staff, Tijl did not survive the operation and lost his fight this morning,” his team Lotto-Dstny said on its website on Friday.

The 22-year-old collided with a car on Wednesday and, according to media reports, lost a lot of blood. After an emergency operation in Lier, De Decker was transferred to the nearby university hospital in his hometown of Antwerp.

“We are shocked by the loss of our driver,” said Lotto boss St├ęphane Heulot. “We will always remember him as a talented young rider and a warm and friendly person off the bike,” he added.

De Decker, who only joined the Lotto team this year, was considered a great classic and sprint talent. He finished fourth in the junior version of Frankfurt-Eschborn that year and won the U23 edition of Paris-Roubaix a week later. Last Sunday he also finished fourth in the Belgian Championships in the U23 category.