Fabio Jakobsen only knew on Tuesday that he had won the fourth stage in the Vuelta a España when he saw staff members cheer from his team Deceuninck - Quick-Step. The 22-year-old from Gelderland did not dare to raise his hands after jumping side by side with Irishman Sam Bennett in El Puig.
"I closed my eyes when I pushed my bike across the finish line. Sam was so close. When I saw people from my team cheer, I knew I had won," Jakobsen said in a first reaction after the finish line.
The Dutch champion was unable to participate in the mass sprint on Monday because he was trapped. Bennett was in a class of its own at the time. Jakobsen was brought in on Tuesday at the end of the fourth stage by team-mate Maximiliano Richeze.
"It was a perfect 'lead-out'. When it was my time to go, I went full on. I threw my bike over the line and it turned out to be enough."
"This is a big win"
Jakobsen has an unforgettable debut in a big round. He has won a few times at a slightly lower level, such as a stage in the BinckBank Tour and the Tour of California and the Scheldeprijs.
"I came to the Vuelta to win a stage. This is a big win, certainly because I am doing it in the Dutch champion jersey. I am so happy that I can put this win on my record at the age of 22."
Léon van Bon was the last to win a stage in a big round in red, white and blue. The now 47-year-old Gelderlander triumphed in 2000 as Dutch champion in the Tour de France.
See also: View the classifications of the Vuelta with Kelderman in place eight