Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma, fighting for his life on Wednesday after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80km/h in the Tour of Poland.
Footage showed 23-year-old Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice.
However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall.
— Paweł Rybicki (@Rybitzky) August 5, 2020
— Scott (@scottlley) August 5, 2020
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) August 5, 2020
“His condition is very serious. His life is directly threatened,” Tour of Poland doctor Barbara Jerschina told Polsat Sport.
“Unfortunately, it is a serious head and brain injury. He has lost a lot of blood.”
Governing body, the UCI said they strongly condemned the “dangerous behaviour” of Groenewegen.
Deceuninck-Quick Step team boss Patrick Lefevere described Groenewegen’s move as a “criminal act”.
Later on Wednesday, his condition was described by hospital officials as “serious” but “stabilised”.
“The patient was transported in serious condition, he was placed in a cerebral coma. His condition has stabilised. He has multiple injuries to his head and chest,” said Pawel Gruenpeter, a neurologist at the hospital in Sosnowiec in the south of the country.
“He will be 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 told TVP Sport television.
The incident comes a year to the day after the death of 22-year-old Belgian sprinter Bjorg Lambrecht, who died after falling and hitting a concrete structure on the 2019 Tour of Poland.
Groenewegen went on to win the stage but was later disqualified with the stricken Jakobsen declared the winner.
The UCI said it “strongly condemns the dangerous behaviour of Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), who sent Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) into the barriers a few metres from the finish, causing a collective crash at the end of the first stage of the Tour of Poland.
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