Brussels: Belgium world junior cycling champion Igor Decraene was found dead on Saturday after taking his own life at the age of just 18, local media press reports said.
A native of Waregem in northern Belgium, Decraene killed himself not far from there at Zulte, the Belga news agency said without giving further details.
The Belgian cycling federation said it was stunned by the news of his suicide death
"The junior world time-trial champion, aged 18, was taking part in a week of training with the national team this week ahead of the world road-race championships in Ponferrada," the federation said in a statement.
Decraens, who was considered to be one of the great hopes of cycling-mad Belgium, won the world junior individual time-trial title in Florence last year having also collected the national crown.
He was in line to ride for the elite Omega Pharma team`s reserves.