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Jakobsen eyes return to the bike this month

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2020 - 71st Edition - 5th stage Paterna - Valencia 97,7 km - 09/02/2020 - Fabio Jakobsen (NED - Deceuninck - Quick Step) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020
Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is set to get back on his bike this month for the first time since his career and life were threatened by a crash at the Tour de Pologne in August. 

The Dutch sprinter, who suffered severe facial injuries when he crashed into the finish line barriers at high speed, has completed another step in his recovery, with the removal of stitches from a recent operation. 

A month ago, Jakobsen underwent reconstructive surgery, with bone taken from his pelvis in order to rebuild his jaw. The stitches are now out and the operation has seemingly been a success.

"Four weeks after the reconstruction of my upper and lower jaw it was time for the stitches to come out. The process of healing is going well," Jakobsen said in a social media update. 

"The transplanted bone has to grow strong and firm for the next four months now. Next surgery is scheduled in 2021."

Once the new bone is stable, Jakobsen will go under the knife again early next year to have implants for a new set of teeth, after all of his were knocked out in the crash. 

In the meantime, he should be able to start riding his bike again once his pelvis has healed. Given he feels lucky to even be alive, there has been no indication as to if or when the 24-year-old can resume his career as a professional cyclist, but he offered a positive sign when he referred to it as 'training'.

"In a couple of weeks my pelvic crest should be healed and strong like before again," he said. "From then I can slowly start training on the bike again!"

Jakobsen was forced into the barriers in Poland when Dylan Groenwegen deviated from his line in the high-speed downhill sprint. The Jumbo-Visma rider has since been suspended and remains the subject of an ongoing disciplinary investigation by the UCI. 

Meanwhile, many criticised the UCI and race organisers over what was already considered a dangerous finish and over the barriers, which were apparently quick to give way. It was just one of a number of safety issues since the season re-start this summer, and there has been a push for change in the form of a new breakaway union – The Riders Union – to rival the existing CPA. 

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Patrick Fletcher
Patrick Fletcher

Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.