Cyclist Fabio Jakobsen in Coma After Suffering Injuries in Tour of Poland Crash

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 6, 2020

First place Netherland's Fabio Jakobsen from the Quick-Step team poses with his trophy on the podium after winning the Scheldeprijs cycling race in Schoten, Belgium on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Virginia Mayo/Associated Press

Fabio Jakobsen, a 23-year-old professional cyclist who rides for UCI WorldTeam Deceuninck–Quick-Step, is being kept in a medically-induced coma following a crash at the 2020 Tour of Poland.

"Fabio Jakobsen's situation is serious but at the moment he is stable," the Deceuninck-QuickStep team wrote in a statement, per CNN's George Ramsay.

"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 Wojewodzki Szpital in Katowice."

Jakobsen had a five-hour surgery for facial injuries, per Tim Bonville-Ginn of Cycling Weekly. He also suffered a chest injury that has affected breathing.

Doctors said Thursday that they would attempt to wake Jakobsen up later in the day but that he is being kept in a coma for precautionary reasons.

Per Bonville-Ginn, Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen caused the crash near the end of the race's first stage.

"Fabio Jakobsen was making a move on Groenewegen's right, which was defended but still left a gap for the Dutch champion to move through," Bonville-Ginn wrote.

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"Groenewegen closed the gap more and more until Jakobsen had nowhere else to go but the barriers."

Groenewegen has been disqualified from the race, and the sport's governing body (UCI) has referred him to the Disciplinary Commission.

He has since issued a public apology on Twitter (via Bonville-Ginn): "I hate what happened yesterday. I can't find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and others who have been dropped or hit. At the moment, the health of Fabio is the most important thing. I think about him constantly."

Bonville-Ginn reported that the setup of the finish in Katowice has been criticized before, as the course sends riders into a downhill sprint where they can hit speeds of over 50 mph. He also noted that some riders suggested the crash barriers shouldn't have broken so easily even at high speeds.

Jakobsen joined UCI WorldTeam Deceuninck–Quick-Step in 2018 after three years with SEG Racing.