(Reuters) - American cyclist Chad Young died on Friday evening in hospital in Tucson, Arizona, five days after crashing during the Tour of the Gila, the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team announced on Saturday.
Young, 21, suffered severe head injuries in the crash, which occurred at high speed during a mountain descent in New Mexico.
“We lost a friend, a team mate and a family member. I have no words that can express my pain over this loss,” said team manager Axel Merckx, general manager.
“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."
The fatal crash also involved several other cyclists, who escaped serious injury.
"The crash itself was really no different or remarkable to any other," Mobius Future Racing general manager Tom Petty told cyclingnews.com. "A small bunch of riders came into the corner. It was a bit deceiving; they realized they'd misjudged it and in the correction, lost control and crashed," he said.
Young, from New Hampshire, in his third year with the Axeon team, was racing his first Tour of the Gila.
Fellow cyclists paid tribute to him after hearing the news.
One, Nate Morse, wrote on Instagram: "Chad Young: A friend, a teammate, and an inspiration. A talent, a genius, but humble. An unforgettable smile, laugh, and personality."
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina,; Editing by Neville Dalton)