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Tour de France

Fabio Jakobsen makes Tour de France timecut by 16 seconds

Dutch sprinter slumps against barriers after battle to stay in the race.

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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sprinter Fabio Jakobsen had to dig deep to continue in his debut Tour de France on Wednesday, finishing just 16 seconds inside the time limit on stage 17 of the race.

The Dutch rider, who won stage 2 and is sitting fifth overall in the green jersey classification, was dropped on the Pyrenean mountain stage and was well behind starting the final climb of Peyragudes.

He eventually crossed the line 36 minutes and 48 seconds behind stage winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), having been cheered to the line by members of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team, including teammate Florian Sénéchal. The time cut was 37 minutes and 4 seconds.

Teammates had been with Jakobsen earlier in the stage, helping him in his chase.

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Jakobsen slumped onto the barriers after reaching the finish, exhausted by his effort.

The squad had battled to keep him in the race earlier in the Tour, including on the stage to the Col du Granon. He had crossed the line last there, 40:08 behind stage winner Vingegaard.

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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Tom Steels praised the rider. “Today was full gas from the beginning, a very fast and hard stage that put many on their limits. It wasn’t about calculations, because it was clear it would be tight; today was just about making it, and Fabio did that, which is the most important thing.

“He showed he has a lot of character and an incredible fighting spirit, which we already knew, and now we hope he recovers and gets over the Hautacam stage so that he has the chance to fight for another victory in Paris.”

Jakobsen is riding the Tour for the first time, having been selected ahead of last year’s green jersey Mark Cavendish, who shares the all-time Tour de France stage win record with Eddy Merckx.

He was almost killed in a high-speed crash in the 2020 Tour de Pologne. He was in a coma after the fall and suffered multiple injuries but, following a number of operations and a long period of recouperation, returned to racing in April 2021.

He has clocked up 11 victories this year including his win into Nyborg on stage 2 of this year’s Tour. Jakobsen is fighting to finish his first Tour, but also knows that Sunday’s final stage in Paris could suit him. There is an chance that Friday’s stage to Cahors could also finish in a big sprint.