Lotto Dstny’s Tijl De Decker hospitalised after training crash

Paris-Roubaix Espoirs winner reported to be in a coma after collision with a motorist

Clock11:48, Thursday 24th August 2023
Tijl De Decker is a promising one-day racer and proved his talent in winning the U23 Paris-Roubaix earlier this season

© Lotto Dstny/Brecht Steenhouwer

Tijl De Decker is a promising one-day racer and proved his talent in winning the U23 Paris-Roubaix earlier this season

Belgium’s Tijl De Decker has been hospitalised in Antwerp after suffering a hard crash in training involving a vehicle on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old rides for the Lotto Dstny Development Team and has racked up several promising results thus far in 2023, but the Belgian team confirmed the news of his crash on Wednesday evening.

“The rider crashed hard into the backside of a car and was brought to the hospital in Lier where he underwent surgery,” revealed a team statement.

“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.”

Het Nieuwsblad reports that having spoken to those close to the rider, De Decker is currently in a coma after having suffered serious injuries, news that was confirmed on Thursday evening by the team.

"We will not go into details about his injuries, but we can confirm he is currently in an induced coma," stated Lotto Dstny. "Tijl is getting the best care possible at the Antwerp University Hospital. The team will provide further updates once there’s more news."

The incident with a passenger car was expanded upon by Magalie Derboven, a spokesperson for the Lier police department.

“The accident occurred on public roads, outside the centre. In doing so, the cyclist was seriously injured and taken to the hospital. It remains to be seen how his condition evolves. A traffic expert from the prosecutor's office has come to the scene, an investigation into the exact circumstances is ongoing.”

De Decker is slated to move up to Lotto Dstny’s ProConti side for 2024 and 2025, having impressed team management during his first season with the Development Team this year. The 22-year-old made his level clear in his very first race in Lotto Dstny colours at Brussel-Opwijk in February, claiming third place, before winning stage 3 of the Tour de Taiwan just a month later.

Although amongst 23 other riders who were all disqualified from the Giro Next Gen after holding onto team cars as they ascended the Passo dello Stelvio, De Decker’s 2023 season had otherwise proved a successful one up until his crash.

The biggest win of his fledgling career came at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in May, where he attacked on the Camphin-en-Pévèle and rode to victory in the Roubaix Velodrome after more than 20km alone. With an iconic cobblestone to his palmarès, De Decker continued to impress in recent months, finishing 4th at the U23 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and helping his team to win the opening team time trial at the Tour Alsace.

His most recent race came at the U23 Belgian national championships, in which he came fourth in the final sprint on Sunday afternoon.

Following the crash and subsequent speculation, Lotto Dstny have asked for privacy for Tijl, his family, friends, and teammates, whilst promising updates as soon as they can deliver them.

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