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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
As we head into the weekend, there is good news out of Poland as Fabio Jakobsen is no longer in a coma.
Two days after the crash that left him and others seriously injured, Jakobsen was brought out of an induced coma, with his Deceuninck-Quick-Step team saying that he “was able to move his legs and arms and communicate with the doctors, which immediately ruled out major neurological problems.”
Jakobsen has a very long road to recovery ahead of him, but after the uncertainty in the immediate aftermath of the crash, Friday’s update is a very welcome piece of news for everyone involved.
In other Tour of Poland news, Richard Carapaz picked up his first victory in Ineos kit on Friday with an impressive performance on stage 3. The reigning Giro d’Italia champ went long on an uphill finishing straight some 300 meters from the line, stealing a march on the fast finishers expected to battle for the stage. He held on to pick up his first win of 2020, and took the race lead in the process.
Read on for more …
| Jakobsen out of coma
Fabio Jakobsen was successfully brought out of an induced coma on Friday, two days after the crash on the opening stage of the Tour of Poland in which he was seriously injured.
“The patient is conscious. He is responding to commands and is breathing unaided,” said Pawel Gruenpeter, deputy director of the hospital in Sosnowiec where Jakobsen is being treated. “The blood pressure is normal. We are very happy today.”
The Dutch national road champ is expected to remain in the hospital for some time as he continues to receive treatment for his very serious injuries.
“Fabio, who Thursday night underwent a five-hour maxillofacial surgery, was able to move his legs and arms and communicate with the doctors, which immediately ruled out major neurological problems,” said Deceuninck-Quick-Step in a statement. “Due to the surgery, speaking and eating will be a challenge in the coming period as the recovery process is expected to be a long and arduous one.”
| Groenewegen pulled from racing, addresses crash in interview
Dylan Groenewegen addressed the Tour of Poland crash in an emotional interview with NOS on Friday, while his Jumbo-Visma team announced that he will be sidelined from racing until the UCI delivers a judgment on possible further disciplinary action.
“I am sorry for what I did,” Groenewegen told NOS. “Turning back time would be easy but it’s a sprint and I made a mistake by deviating from my line. It’s clear that you have to sprint in a straight line. You never hope this is the result [of your actions]. I can now only hope Fabio recovers fast.”
In a statement, Jumbo-Visma acknowledged that Groenewegen’s behavior was “unacceptable,” and said that he “will not start in a race until the judgment of the disciplinary committee to which the UCI has handed over the incident.”
| Carapaz wins stage 3 of the Tour of Poland
Richard Carapaz took an impressive stage 3 victory at the Tour of Poland on Friday, going long in a finale that seemed, on paper, more likely to favor riders better known for their fast finishes than the reigning Giro d’Italia champ.
As the sprinters and puncheurs still in the pack were gearing up for an uphill sprint in Bielsko-Biala after 200 kilometers of racing from Wadowice, Carapaz jumped with some 300 meters still to go. As it became clear that he was opening a gap, expected contenders like Diego Ulissi wound up to speed, but they were too late to catch Carapaz, who held on to take a convincing win as he hit the finish line.
Ulissi took second ahead of Rudy Molard in third. With two stages to go, Carapaz now sits atop the general classification.
| Bagioli wins stage 1 of the Tour de l’Ain
Andrea Bagioli nabbed the opening stage of the Tour de l’Ain on Friday, topping a field full of big names in an uphill sprint.
The finale featured an interesting battle between the Ineos and Jumbo-Visma squads, with Primoz Roglic trying a late move and Egan Bernal responding to close him down. Tom Dumoulin then came to the front to pull for Roglic as a sprint became imminent, but it was Bagioli who surged to the win in the end, with Roglic in second and Stefan Bissegger taking third.
| Meeus wins stage 2 of the Czech Tour
Jordi Meeus nabbed stage 2 of the Czech Tour on Friday in Unicov.
The 22-year-old up-and-comer, riding for the SEG Racing Academy Continental squad, sprinted to victory over Belgian compatriot Tim Merlier. Max Kanter finished third on the day. Overnight leader Luke Durbridge remains atop the general classification with two stages to go.
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Today’s feature image of Richard Carapaz getting his first win as a member of Team Ineos comes from Cor Vos.