Cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is in a “comatose condition” following a horrific crash at the end of the first stage of the Tour of Poland, according to his team.
Jakobsen collided with a barrier at the finish line of Wednesday’s race after Dylan Groenewegen had drifted into the path of the Dutch cyclist, causing a number of other riders to also crash.
“Fabio Jakobsen’s situation is serious but at the moment he is stable,” said a statement from his Deceuninck-QuickStep team.
“Diagnostic tests didn’t reveal brain or spinal injury, but because of the gravity of his multiple injuries he is still kept in a comatose condition and has to remain closely monitored in the following days at the Wojewódzki Szpital in Katowice.”
On Thursday, the team released a further update saying Jakobsen had undergone facial surgery overnight and that doctors would try to wake him up later today.
Groenewegen was subsequently disqualified from the race and victory was handed to Jakobsen. His actions have been condemned by the UCI, cycling’s global governing body.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) strongly condemns the dangerous behavior of rider Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), who sent Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) into the barriers a few meters from the finish, causing a collective crash at the end of the first stage of the Tour de Pologne,” said a statement.
It added that the incident would be referred to a disciplinary commission to determine whether sanctions should be imposed, while Jumbo-Visma said the team will undertake an internal review of the crash.
“Our thoughts go out to Fabio Jakobsen and other people involved in today’s terrible crash in the Tour of Poland,” the Team wrote on Twitter.
“Crashes like these should not happen. We offer our sincere apologies and we will discuss internally what has happened before we may make any further statement.”
The first stage of the Tour of Poland covered 195.8 kilometers, starting at the Silesian Stadium and ending in the city of Katowice.
The crash occurred just meters from the finish line as Jakobsen and Groenewegen vied for the victory, with several riders and a race official subsequently involved.
“I followed the situation from the beginning … after speaking with the director, I can say that I am somewhat relieved,” said race organizer Czesław Lang of Jakobsen’s condition.
“After seeing the crash, we feared the worst, but now we know that there are no serious internal injuries or major fractures, and the patient’s situation is stabilized.
“The race official also involved in the accident suffered a head injury but has already regained consciousness and is now in a stable condition.
“I really want to send a heartfelt thank you to the doctors and hospital staff for their prompt care and assistance and I also wish all the athletes involved in the crash a fast recovery.”
The cycling world has offered support to Jakobsen.
“This was not the way I hoped to reach the finish line. My biggest concern now is Fabio Jakobsen. Thoughts are with him, Deceuninck-QuickStep and his family!” tweeted Belgian cyclist Jasper Philipsen, who was caught up in the crash.
“Forza Fabio Jakobsen, stay strong,” tweeted 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali.
Lance Armstrong also sent his support and added he has “been around this game a long time and not sure I’ve seen a crash that horrific.”