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by José Been
August 13, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
Fabio Jakobsen is back in his home country of the Netherlands, where medical checks have indicated that initial reports from Polish doctors were not entirely accurate. Though Jakobsen sustained serious facial damage, his team doctors are hopeful for a full recovery and return to racing.
The sprinter, who crashed in the first stage of the Tour of Poland one week ago, was brought to the Leiden University Medical Center accompanied by Deceuninck-Quickstep team doctor Yvan Vanmol.
Doctor Vanmol gave an update on the current health situation of the Dutch sprinter to Belgian broadcaster Sporza. “I think we can say it’s a miracle. He is standing on his own two feet and has no fractures in his limbs apart from one thumb.”
Initial reports from the doctors in the hospital in Poland proved untrue. These updates were given without the team or Jakobsen’s family knowing or condoning them.
“It was said the windpipe was shattered. That was untrue. They did have to intubate but that was it, the windpipe and airways are intact. Fabio can’t talk at the moment but he can communicate through text messages on his phone,” Doctor Vanmol continued.
Jakobsen landed on his face and suffered major trauma there.
“He can’t speak just yet because the muscular structure around his mouth and lips is very damaged. He also suffered fractures in the upper and lower jaw. His sinuses are okay, as are his eye sockets. He did lose all his teeth but with the advanced state of esthetic surgery nowadays I suspect the results of this crash will hardly be visible anymore in the future.”
The final of the first stage of the Tour of Poland took place on a downhill road. The top speed of the sprinters dashing for the line was over 80 kilometres an hour. Dylan Groenewegen deviated from his line and pushed Jakobsen into the barriers, a move the Team Jumbo-Visma sprinter has said he deeply regrets.
“Fabio remembers everything about that day, until the final few hundred metres from the finish line,” Vanmol says. “He does realize the disaster he evaded that day.”
The veteran doctor of Deceuninck-Quickstep has little to no doubts as to whether Fabio Jakobsen will return to the peloton. “I can’t and won’t give you a time but I have great hope that Fabio will be a bike racer again.”