Fabio Jakobsen was put into an induced coma on Wednesday after sustaining head and chest injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour de Poland race, organisers have confirmed.
The Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider went crashing into the barriers as he jostled for position and a stage victory with Dylan Groenewegen of Team Jumbo–Visma.
Jakobsen was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition and was put into an induced coma having suffered injuries to the head and chest.
Massive crash on the finish line in stage 1 of 🇵🇱@Tour_de_Pologne! #TDP20 (📺@sport_tvppl) pic.twitter.com/mwvDwS9Y3i
However, a doctor at the hospital in Sosnowiec said his condition was stable at the intensive care unit but that he will require surgery to his face and skull.
‘It is a severe head and brain trauma. We did what we could, the medical team came immediately,’ a race doctor had said initially.
‘The biggest problems were with intubation, a huge trauma to the palate, heavy bleeding. The health condition is very serious, it is a direct threat to life.’
The harrowing incident came after Dutch cyclist Jakobsen had raced into the final metres of the race elbow-to-elbow with compatriot Groenewegen.
But then he came up the inside of his compatriot, and as the pair vied for position, Groenewegen appeared to clip Jakobsen.
That moment caused Jakobsen to vault into the barriers and cause havoc amid a domino-like pile-up that saw multiple riders hit the asphalt as they crossed the line.
Jakobsen’s impact knocked advertising hoardings and barriers into the path of the cyclists, sending multiple riders to the ground as they tried to avoid what lay ahead of them.
Groenewegen was declared the winner of the race – with Marc Sarreau and Luka Mezgec also making the initial podium – but he was later disqualified from the race.
A UCI statement blamed the 27-year-old, stating: ‘The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) strongly condemns the dangerous behaviour of rider 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.
‘Groenewegen was disqualified from the race by the commissaires’ panel.
‘The UCI, which considers the behaviour unacceptable, immediately referred the matter to the Disciplinary Commission to request the imposition of sanctions commensurate with the seriousness of the facts.
‘Our federation is wholeheartedly with the affected riders.’
The sprint capped off a hilly 195.8km stage that connected two of Poland’s largest sports stadiums.
Riders including Mark Cavendish departed the Silesian Stadium in downtown Chorzow before tackling a hilly route and the finishing sprint at the Sodek arena in Katowice.