Sport Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen to be woken from coma after Tour of Poland crash

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen to be woken from coma after Tour of Poland crash

Fabio Jakobsen hits the side barriers alongside Dylan Groenewegen in the opening-stage sprint finish at Katowice. Photo: AP Photo: AP
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Doctors will attempt to wake Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen from a medically-induced coma on Thursday, a day after the 23-year-old rider suffered a serious crash at the Tour of Poland.

Jakobsen “is currently on an intensive care unit in stable condition,” Pawel Gruenpeter, deputy head of a Sosnowiec-based hospital said during a press briefing according to the Polish Press Agency PAP.

“Today we will attempt to wake him from the coma. Then we will know what his condition is.”

Jakobsen suffered serious injuries to the head and face but his eyes were not damaged, the official said.

A further update on his condition is expected later on Thursday.

The cyclist underwent a five-hour operation after hitting barriers when he and fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen collided in a downhill sprint just before the opening-stage finish line in Katowice.

Race doctor Barbara Jerschina told Polish Polsat television that Jakobsen’s condition was very serious.

She said the athlete had been successfully intubated and his lungs were free.

“Our thoughts and our prayers go to Fabio Jakobsen,” his team Deceuninck-Quick Step said.

The team later released a statement that said tests on Jakobsen did not reveal brain or spinal injuries at this time.

Groenewegen was disqualified and barred from the 2020 race after the crash.

The UCI deemed Groenewegen’s behaviour “unacceptable” and “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 UCI said.

German cyclist Simon Geschke criticised organisers for holding the sprint finish to the stage on a sharp downhill.

“Every year the same silly downhill sprint in the @Tour_de_Pologne,” the 34-year-old Berliner wrote on Twitter.

“Every year i ask myself why the organisation thinks it’s a good idea. Bunch sprints are dangerous enough, you don’t need a downhill finish with 80kph!”

The crash came one year after Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht died at the 2019 Tour of Poland.

The 22-year-old Lotto-Soudal rider died after crashing into a concrete obstacle during a stage from Chorzow to Zabrze.