Katowice (dpa) - Even the pictures of the fall made the worst fear. The Dutch professional cyclist Fabio Jakobsen crashed into the barrier grid at high speed in the finish sprint and remained motionless.

The 23-year-old, who had been pushed aside by his compatriot Dylan Groenewegen, is apparently in mortal danger according to initial information. Only last year the tour was overshadowed by the death of the Belgian Bjorg Lambrecht.

As the world association UCI announced, the 23-year-old is in serious condition. He is said to have suffered serious head injuries and was put into an artificial coma. «The condition is very serious. He is in mortal danger. He lost a lot of blood, but he was successfully intubated and his airways were clear. We gave him oxygen. The heart worked well, ”said racing doctor Barbara Jerschina on Polish television Polsat. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Fabio Jakobsen," said his team Deceuninck-Quick Step.

In the downhill sprint, Jakobsen crashed directly into the barriers after the duel with Groenewegen. As a result, other drivers fell, including Groenewegen, who was initially placed first. The Dutchman was subsequently disqualified and taken out of the race by the jury. The international cycling association classified Groenewegen's behavior as “unacceptable” and involved the disciplinary commission.

Jakobsen's team principal Patrick Lefevere called Groenewegen's behavior "criminal". His team Jumbo-Visma, the team of four-time world champion Tony Martin, apologized for the incident. «Such accidents shouldn't happen. We sincerely apologize. We will discuss the incident internally before we make further statements, »said the team.

The German top sprinter Pascal Ackermann was apparently not affected by the crash. The jury subsequently declared Jakobsen to be the winner of the opening stage over 196 kilometers from Chorzow to Katowice in front of the Frenchman Marc Sarreau, who had also fallen, and the Slovenian Luka Mezgec. The tour is also over for Sarreau. He suffered a serious shoulder injury with multiple ligament tears.

Exactly a year ago, the Belgian Lambrecht died on the tour of Poland. The 22-year-old professional cyclist crashed into a concrete structure on the stage to Zabrze. At first, he was resuscitated on site, but died of serious injuries during an operation in the hospital. Alongside Remco Evenepoel, Lambrecht was considered the most hopeful talent in road cycling in Belgium.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200805-99-57637 / 3

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