After seeing his vital prognosis engaged, the state of health of the champion of the Netherlands, Fabio Jakobsen, victim of a terrible fall, Wednesday August 5, on the finish line in Katowice (south) of the first stage of the Tour of Poland has stabilized, the doctors announced in the evening.
“The patient was transported in serious condition, he was placed in a coma. His condition has stabilized. The cyclist has multiple injuries to his head and chest ”, said Pawel Gruenpeter, neurologist from the hospital in Sosnowiec (south) where the runner was transported.
“He will be hospitalized in an intensive care unit and will undergo craniofacial surgery. The intervention of specialists in jaw and plastic surgery will be necessary. The time of the operation will depend on the patient’s state of health ”, he added, on TVP Sport television.
After the violent fall, the doctors feared for the life of the young Dutchman (23 years), one of the rising stars of the sprint, considering that his vital prognosis was engaged.
“Unacceptable” for the UCI
Jakobsen was packed shortly before the line by compatriot Dylan Groenewegen in a sprint at full speed, on a downhill false flat, and was thrown over the barriers.
“He lost a lot of blood, but we managed to intubate him, his airways were free. He was given oxygen, all the necessary medication. The heart was working fine. He has no rib cage injury, it’s mostly the skull and the brain ”, explained before Barbara Jerschina, doctor of the race on Polish television Polsat Sport.
Groenewegen, the first to cross the line, was disqualified by the jury of commissioners. The International Cycling Union (UCI) condemned “Firmly unsafe behavior” of Groenewegen that she judged “Unacceptable” and declared to seize the disciplinary commission “To request sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the facts”.
A few meters before the finish, Groenewegen swerved to the right and interfered with his elbow Jakobsen, who flew into the barriers and made a « soleil ». He slammed into a race judge who was at the height of the line, behind a barrier.
The barriers then fell onto the road, causing other falls, including those of Groenewegen and Frenchman Marc Sarreau who, according to his Groupama-FDJ team, suffers from a major shoulder trauma and multiple ligament ruptures. Sarreau, second on the stage, is forfeited for the next stage.
Massive crash on the finish line in stage 1 of ??@Tour_de_Pologne! #TDP20 (?@sport_tvppl) https://t.co/mwvDwS9Y3i
The fall comes a year to the day after the death of Belgian hopeful Bjorg Lambrecht (22), who died after falling and hitting a concrete structure on the same Tour of Poland.
According to the official results published on the race website, Jakobsen was declared the winner of this 198 kilometer stage after Groenewegen was disqualified.
“I’m going to court. These kinds of actions must be eliminated from cycling. It is a criminal act ”, reacted in a tweet Patrick Lefevere, the boss of the Deceuninck team.
The Jumbo team presents its “sincere apologies”
The Groenewegen team, Jumbo, presented its ” sincere apologies “ for the gesture of his runner.
“Our thoughts are with Fabio Jakobsen and the others involved in today’s terrible crash on the Tour of Poland. Accidents like these shouldn’t happen. We offer our sincere apologies and will discuss internally what happened before we can make another statement ”, the Dutch team said in a tweet.
“The cyclists haven’t run for a few months and are no longer used to it. And from where unfortunately such a tragic result ”, said race organizer Czeslaw Lang.
At 23, Jakobsen has eighteen victories to his name, including three acquired at the start of the year in front of references in the discipline. But it was last year, during the Vuelta – the Tour of Spain – that the Dutchman really made a name for himself by winning two stages on his first grand tour.
Having turned professional in 2018 in Patrick Lefevere’s Quick-Step team, Jakobsen donned the Dutch champion’s tricolor jersey last year in June. He won the sprint before taking part for the first time in the Tour of Poland, in which he took third place in the opening stage.