'Can't find the words': Cyclist breaks silence over 'criminal' act

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, incident that left Fabio Jakobsen with serious head and chest injuries.
The horror late-race crash that left Fabio Jakobsen in a coma. Pic: Getty

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen says he is at a loss for words to describe his remorse over a tragic incident that left compatriot Fabio Jakobsen fighting for life in a coma.

Jakobsen was rushed to hospital after being thrown into and over a barrier at 80km/h in a sickening conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour of Poland.

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Footage showed 23-year-old 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.

The Dutchman was airlifted to hospital and remains in a coma after having facial surgery carried out in the wake of the accident.

Deceuninck-Quick Step team boss Patrick Lefevere described Groenewegen's move as a “criminal act”.

"I find it terrible what happened," Groenewegen, 27, said.

"I can't find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and the others involved.

"What matters most now is Fabio's health. I think about him all the time."

Jakobsen's team said nitial tests "didn't reveal brain or spinal injury" and that his condition was stable.

Cyclist dedicates stage two win to Jakobsen

After wining the second stage of the event, world champion Mads Pedersen wished Jakobsen a speedy recovery.

"I dedicate this win to Jakobsen and wish him a speedy recovery, hope he gets back to a normal life and back to cycling," he said.

Cycling's governing body UCI released a statement hitting out at Groenewegen's role in the horror incident.

Pictured here, Fabio Jakobsen is attended to by medics after a terrifying crash.
Fabio Jakobsen was placed in a coma after the horror crash. Image: Getty

Jakobsen is considered a rising star of the sprint in the peloton who made his name in 2019 with two stage wins on the Vuelta a Espana, one of the sport's three Grand Tours.

Groenewegen, 27, is a four-time stage winner on the Tour de France, including the final stage in 2017 on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

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.

“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.”

Patrick Lefevere, general manager of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team, described it a "criminal act" and said via social media that he would be taking the matter to court.

“I am going to court. These kinds of actions must be outside cycling. It is a criminal act,” tweeted .

with agencies