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Fabio Jakobsen set for racing return at Tour of Turkey

Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Fabio Jakobsen at Deceuninck-QuickStep training camp earlier this year (Image credit: Deceuninck – Quick-Step Cycling Team)

Deceuninck-QuickStep sprinter Fabio Jakobsen is set to make his return to the peloton at the Tour of Turkey on Sunday.

The Dutchman has been out of action since last August, when he crashed out of the Tour de Pologne on the opening day after being forced into the barriers in the sprint finish by Jumbo-Visma's Dylan Groenewegen.

Jakobsen has since undergone several reconstructive surgeries on severe facial injuries sustained in the crash, and has spent the early months of 2021 building up his training, including taking part in a team training camp in February.

News of the 24-year-old's return was let slip by team doctor Yvan Vanmol in Proximus podcast Vals Plat earlier this week.

"I have a good relationship with Fabio, and I will be there in Turkey," he said. "The fact that Fabio is going to ride his race again is very emotional, even at my age.

"I don't think he'll be afraid of getting involved in a bunch sprint. Fabio is fit for competition."

Vanmol detailed how he feared for Jakobsen's life after the crash in Katowice, which saw him fly headfirst through the barriers and suffer serious head trauma and a crushed palate and respiratory tract.

"It was one of the most emotional moments I have ever experienced," he said. "I really thought he was dying on the street in Poland. Certain media spread the wrong message – Fabio was stabilised for 40 minutes, not reanimated. When you hear, as an insider, that someone has been resuscitated for 40 minutes, you don't think that person is going to make it."

Jakobsen's return to racing in Turkey is expected to be confirmed in a Deceuninck-QuickStep team press conference on Thursday.

Deceuninck-QuickStep will be one of three WorldTour teams present at the 2.Pro-ranked race – which was last held in 2019 – alongside Astana-Premier Tech and Israel Start-Up Nation. 

The race will run from Sunday 11 April to Sunday 18 April with a possible four or five sprint stages on the menu as well as a summit finish on Elmali.

Jakobsen's compatriot Mike Teunissen has also laid out a timetable for his return to racing, with the Tour of Hungary (May 12-16) his goal. The Jumbo-Visma rider has yet to race in 2021 having suffered a torn thigh muscle as a result of a crash on at a training camp in Tenerife in February. 

Incidentally, Groenewegen is also set to return to racing in Hungary, following the completion of his ban from racing.