Fabio Jakobsen (r.) During training with teammate Bert van Lerberghe
Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images
Fabio Jakobsen is a sprinter.
He knows about the danger of tight finishings at high speed, falls are part of cycling.
And yet he would not have expected to be involved in such a misfortune.
Eight months ago it wasn't even sure whether the Dutchman would survive the next night.
With severe head injuries, a disfigured face, only one tooth left in my mouth: "In this dark phase I was afraid I would not survive," he said.
It cannot be taken for granted that this Jakobsen will celebrate his comeback on the Tour of Turkey next Sunday.
For Jakobsen himself it is the greatest gift.
"I am extremely grateful," said the 24-year-old, who has had the hardest time of his career, of his life.
At 80 km / h against the target structures
It was the first stage of the Tour of Poland, one of the first races after the Corona restart, the drivers possibly over-ambitious, but without racing practice, the finale hectic.
In the sprint for victory, the Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen pushes his compatriot into the lane on the sloping home straight, which was previously criticized for its dangerousness, Jakobsen flies against the target structures at 80 km / h, disappears in a hurricane of rubble.
At this moment, it is not yet possible to predict how badly Fabio Jakobsen (left) will be injured
Tomasz Markowski / AP
While Jakobsen is declared the winner after Groenewegen's disqualification, the doctors fight against his death.
First on the road - »the rescuers at the finish line saved my life«, says Jakobsen - and finally in the hospital in Sosnowiec.
Only when Jakobsen, who was badly injured in the head, woke up from the artificial coma two days later, the immediate mortal danger was averted.
In the days after the fall, there was a lot of discussion about cycling safety.
As a result, the world association UCI introduced new rules on April 1st.
For example, the organizers have to make the track boundary more secure at the finish or at other narrow points in the race, an accompanying study should find out exactly how.
In addition, certain sitting positions on the bike are prohibited.
New teeth for a few months
Today, after half a dozen operations, Jakobsen is fully restored.
His face, which was patched with 130 stitches, looks a little unnatural, his new jaw, modeled from Jacobsen's pelvic bones, contains temporary artificial teeth.
"It will take a few more months until everything is healed and I can get my new teeth," says Jakobsen.
He, who has already achieved so much, can get over that, he wants to enjoy every kilometer of racing in Turkey.
And he hasn't lost his sprinter instinct.
"He won't be afraid of getting involved in a mass sprint," says Yvan Vanmol, team doctor for Jakobsen's Quick-Step team: "Fabio is ready for the competition."
The person who caused the fall, Groenewegen, will not meet Jakobsen in Turkey - he will be closed until May because of the incident.
krä / sid