• First stage Lampaert surprises by winning the opening time trial and Mas loses 49 seconds with Pogacar

"His face was completely destroyed, it was unrecognizable, as if a grenade had exploded in his face."

Florian Sénéchal

could not fall asleep as he recalled the horrifying image of his teammate

Deél Fabio Jakobsen

after the hair-raising crash suffered on August 5, 2020 in a sprint of the Tour of Poland.

For many cyclists it was the first competition after the parenthesis caused by the pandemic.

Sénéchal was the first to assist the Dutch sprinter after crashing into the protection fences after being displaced by his compatriot

Dylan Groenewegen

in a wild maneuver at 80 kilometers per hour.

His irregular action alarmed the runners, the public and the race commissioners.

The scandal was so monumental that Groenewegen was sanctioned with nine months without competing and from then on there was a more severe regulation on pushing and touching in mass arrivals.

Traumatology experts assure that Jakobsen saved his life because when he flew towards the fences he hit the body of a UCI commissioner and that cushioned the blow.

The inspector suffered the fracture of several ribs.

But worse were the consequences for Jakobsen:

brain concussion, loss of almost all his teeth

and fractures of the skull, nose and palate.

He underwent life or death surgery for five hours and spent three days in intensive care at a hospital.

He went six months without solid food.

“Parts of my upper and lower jaw were missing.

He had many cuts on his face.

I also had bruises on my shoulder,

broke my thumb and damaged my lung

.

In addition, the blow affected the vocal cords, he could hardly speak.

The first impact was in my face, then I hit that man with my butt.

The luck I had is that I have a pretty big ass, "said Fabio Jakobsen ironically in an interview with the

AD

newspaper .

The resurrected

is one of the most acclaimed riders in this Tour that started yesterday and that today hosts the first stage in line, with the Nyborg finish.

A flat course, conducive to massive arrivals, where Jakobsen has shone like no other this season and now intends to

open a gap

in a round unknown to him.

And it is that the Dutch sprinter, born 25 years ago in Gorinchem, debuts in the

Grande Boucle

.

His selection deprived his teammate Mark Cavendish of participating in the French round, who was looking to break the tie with

Edyy Merckx

as winners of the most stages: 34. The Quick-Step preferred the momentum of the youngster than the challenge of the veteran.

The endorsement of the data.

Jakobsen goes to the Tour with 10 wins this season.

The same number as

Tadej Pogacar

, but the Slovenian's numbers hold more specific value.

The Dutchman started the year with two victories in the Valencian Community and another two in the Tour of the Algarve.

Successes followed in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Paris-Nice, Tour of Hungary (two stages) and Elfstedenronde and Tour of Belgium.

This Tour is his second big one.

In 2019 he debuted in the Vuelta a España with two stage wins and in 2021 he added three more.

“After passing Dylan, he deviated from his line and closed me.

I couldn't stop.

It's hard for me to understand why he did it.

Didn't he see me?

Did you take too much risk?

Did he want to win at all costs?

Florian Sénéchal's help was essential.

There was blood everywhere.

Florian saw that he was choking me with my own blood.

He couldn't move me, he

saw the panic in my eyes

.

In a reflex action he took my head and raised it slightly so that the blood ran down my mouth and throat », explained the Dutchman.

“I was terrified, I was panicking.

They were the longest days of my life.

He is there like a zombie », she recalled, assuring that they

took a priest to the room

, she does not know if to give him extreme unction or to pray for him.

The young sprinter, then 23, had a bone removed from his hip to rebuild his jaw.

In his mouth he received 130 stitches.

He was six months without competing.

He returned in April 2021 at the Tour of Turkey and again won a stage at the Tour of Wallonia on July 22.

In the Tour he will fight again with Groenewegen, a rival to whom he does not hold a grudge.

Today, he hopes to debut in the

Grande Boucle

.

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