Dutch cyclist in Poland crash conscious, in good condition

Sports
Dylan Groenewegen, Fabio Jakobsen

Sprinting for the win Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen, left, hits side barriers at the start of a crash with his countryman Dylan Groenewegen, 2nd left, on the final stretch of the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne race in Katowice, Poland, on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Injured Jakobsen was taken to hospital in serious condition and put into an induced coma. Jakobsen was declared the winner of the opening stage and Groenewegen was disqualified. (AP Photo/Tomasz Markowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is in good condition after he was brought out of an induced coma following a controversial crash with one of his countrymen near the finish line at the Tour of Poland,

Doctors at the hospital in southern Poland where Jakobsen is being treated said Friday he is responsive, breathing on his own and can move his limbs.

“We have good news, the patient is in really good condition with no neurological symptoms,” said Dr Pawel Gruenpeter, deputy director of St.Barbara’s Specialized Hospital in Sosnowiec.

The bruising that Jakobsen sustained to his chest still needs doctors’ attention and he will need physical therapy after the crash, but could possibly leave hospital in about two weeks, Gruenpeter said.

Jakobsen, who races for the Deceuninck Quick-Step team, was fighting for victory with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen on Wednesday toward the end of the first stage when the latter deviated from his line in the final meters and sent Jakobsen crashing through roadside barriers.

Groenewegen crossed the line in first place then hit the tarmac in a mass crash.

Jakobsen, 23, suffered injuries to his eye socket and jaw prompting doctors to put him in an induced coma and operate on him for five hours Wednesday night.

“He is young and practices sports intensively and that saved him in this situation,” said anesthesiologist Dr Rafal Kazanowski.

Jakobsen was later awarded the stage win and Groenewegen was disqualified.

The International Cycling Union condemned Groenewegen’s actions and determined he was responsible for the crash.

Groenewegen’s Jumbo-Visma team offered “sincere apologies” following the crash, and the rider said on his social media that the incident was “terrible.”

Polish prosecutors have opened a probe into the cause of the crash.

The accident in the southern city of Katowice took place exactly a year after Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht died in hospital from injuries he sustained when he crashed into a concrete barrier during the third stage of the same race.

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