The images of the fall alone make people fear the worst. Dutch professional cyclist fabio jakobsen crashed directly into the barriers at high speed during the finish sprint of the tour of poland and remained lying motionless.
According to initial information, the 23-year-old, who had been pushed off by his compatriot dylan groenewegen, is apparently in danger of losing his life. Only last year, the tour was overshadowed by the death of belgian bjorg lambrecht.
According to the world governing body UCI, the 23-year-old is in serious condition. He is said to have suffered severe head injuries and to have been placed in an artificial coma. "The condition is very serious. His life is in danger. He lost a lot of blood, but he was successfully intubated and his airway was clear. We gave him oxygen. The heart worked well," explained race doctor barbara jerschina on polish television polsat. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with fabio jakobsen," his team deceuninck-quick step announced.
During the downhill sprint, jakobsen crashed directly into the barriers after the duel with groenewegen. Other riders were subsequently knocked down, including groenewegen, who had initially been in first place. The dutchman was subsequently disqualified and taken out of the race by the jury. The cycling world federation classified groenewegen’s behavior as "unacceptable" and called in the disciplinary committee.
Jakobsen’s team manager patrick lefevere called groenewegen’s behavior "criminal". His team, jumbo-visma, the team of four-time world time trial champion tony martin, apologized for the incident. "Such accidents should not happen. We sincerely apologize. We will discuss the incident internally before making any further statements," the team said.
Germany’s top sprinter pascal ackermann was apparently not affected by the crash. Jakobsen was subsequently declared the winner of the opening 196-kilometer stage from chorzow to kattowice by the jury, ahead of frenchman marc sarreau and slovenian luka mezgec, who had also died. Also for sarreau the round trip is finished. He suffered a severe shoulder injury with multiple ligament tears.
Exactly one year ago to the day, belgian lambrecht died during the polish tour. The 22-year-old professional cyclist crashed into a concrete structure on the stage to zabrze. He was first resuscitated on the spot, but succumbed to his serious injuries during an operation at the hospital. Lambrecht was considered the most promising talent in road cycling in belgium alongside remco evenepoel.