Fabio Jakobsen continues comeback at Volta ao Algarve

Fabio Jakobsen racing with his Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After making his return to racing at last month's Tour of Turkey, Fabio Jakobsen continues his comeback next week at the Volta ao Algarve

The Dutchman, who suffered a life-threatening crash at the Tour de Pologne last August, has been named alongside fellow sprinter Sam Bennett in Deceuninck-QuickStep's seven-man team for the five-day race in Portugal. 

Jakobsen, who underwent multiple maxillofacial surgeries over the winter, completed the eight days of racing in Turkey, doing his bit as teammate Mark Cavendish won four of the stages.

He is not expected to sprint himself in Algarve, especially with Bennett in the squad, but it represents another step up in his journey to rediscovering his former level. 

"We are curious to see how Fabio will fare," said team director Tom Steels. "After Turkey, this race will be another important step in the right direction for him."

The 2021 Volta ao Algarve, delayed from February due to the COVID-19 pandemic, follows a familiar format, with two opportunities for the sprinters on stages 1 and 3, along with two summit finishes at Foia and Malhao, and a 20km individual time trial. 

Bennett, winner of five races already this season, will target the flatter stages, while Tour of Flanders champion Kasper Asgreen has his eye on the stage 4 time trial. 

"It’s the parcours we know, with a bit of everything for everyone. We will aim for good results with Sam in the bunch sprints. These will be technical, but we are confident in him and his solid lead-out."

Bennett will have lead-out men Michael Morkov and Shane Archbold by his side, along with another fast finisher in Davide Ballerini. The squad is rounded out by Bert Van Lerberghe, a late replacement for Tim Declercq, who injured his wrist in training recently.

Jakobsen's latest appearance comes just before Dylan Groenewegen, whose sprint deviation in Poland caused him to crash, returns to action at the Giro d'Italia following a nine-month ban. 

According to Groenewegen, who was initially set to return at the lower-level Tour of Hungary, he and Jakobsen have met face to face, saying they both 'unburdened their hearts'.

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