Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen says he is living each day to the full as he prepares for the Tour of Turkey on Sunday, eight months after a controversial high-speed crash in Poland almost cost him his life. The Deceuninck Quick-Step rider lost all his teeth and suffered multiple head fractures when sent flying over barriers and into a traffic sign at over 80kph when barged by countryman Dylan Groenewegen during a bunch sprint in Poland last August.
The 24-year-old spent several days fighting for his life, and his manager called for Groenewegen to be jailed. Groenwegen, who also crashed at the same speed, was banned by the UCI for eight months but will be eligible to ride again in May. Jakobsen has been getting into condition on a Spanish training camp.
“It’s so good to get back on a bike,” Jakobson said on a video on the team site.
“I have achieved my first goal of contesting a race, now I will target my second goal of winning one,” he said.
“But the greatest thing of all is that I still love cycling, even after all that happened to me.”
Jakobsen has had several operations to reconstruct his face.
“I can’t tell you how good it feels to be a professional cyclist, just to train with my teammates, spend time with the lads, sit around and have lunch together.”
Jakobsen, who was Dutch road race champion at the time of his crash, conceded that he might not recover full racing form till 2022 or even the year after.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini