Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen from Deceuninck-Quickstep is in critical condition after dramatic crash on the first stage of Tour de Pologne in Katowice, Poland.
The Wednesday race was preceded by the minute of silence to commemorate Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht, who died in an accident in the previous edition. The race started on the Stadion Slaski in Chorzow, while the finish line was situated in Katowice, which is called “the temple of sprint”, as the riders are able to reach the speed even of 80 kilometers per hour, reports Xinhua news agency.
The first stage of Tour de Pologne was disrupted by a high-speed crash just before the finish line. Jakobsen hit into the barriers after he clashed elbow-to-elbow with Belgian Dylan Groenewegen. The barriers flew across the road which contributed to the crash of several other cyclists.
Groenewegen crossed the finish line first but he was disqualified as he caused the collision and the organisers announced that Jakobsen is the winner of the first stage. The Dutchman was transported to the hospital in a critical condition after over half an hour of resuscitation. According to Polish media, the rider was put into a pharmacological coma.
“Fabio’s condition is very serious. We did everything we could, but it’s a hard situation due to the fact that it is a very severe craniocerebral trauma. He has a broken palate. We gave him oxygen and we maintained the level of saturation and vitals,” said Tour de Pologne doctor, Barbara Jerschina.
“It is a very serious injury. He lost a lot of blood, but he is alive and we hope to win this fight,” added the doctor.
After the crash Groenewegen’s team Jumbo-Visma made an official statement.
“Our thoughts go out to Fabio Jakobsen and other people involved in today’s terrible crash. We offer our sincere apologies and we will discuss internally what has happened before we may make any further statement,” they wrote, while Deceuninck-Quickstep’s manager Patrick Lefevere announced that the team will take a legal action against Groenewegen.