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Tour de France

Hometown crits and abandoned sprints at center of Fabio Jakobsen plan to win Tour de France finale

Fabio Jakobsen didn't win the Tour's uphill sprint Friday. But he's hoping on three key things to deliver him a VIP victory in Paris on Sunday.

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CAHORS, France (VN) – Fabio Jakobsen is counting on hometown crits, two good sleeps, and one abandoned sprint to help him finish his debut Tour de France in style.

Dutch sprint ace Jakobsen went missing in action in the chaotic closer of stage 19 of the Tour on Friday as he roars toward the superstar of sprint finishes on the Champs-Élysées.

“Paris is where I want to be. It’s a really good opportunity, for me,” Jakobsen told VeloNews after the stage Friday.

“In the Netherlands we ride a lot of criteriums, we call those ‘laps round the church Each lap is a couple of K and you always have a sprint. I think of it like laps around the Arc de Triomphe [in stage 21 in Paris – ed] and then there’s a sprint that suits me well.

“So I’m going to have two good nights of sleep then we’re going to give it a go there.”

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Jakobsen rode into his debut Tour at the start of this month with the fastest legs in the peloton. Ten victories from 2022 across top WorldTour stage-races and classics saw the Dutchman’s long comeback from career-threatening injuries more than complete.

After opening his Tour de France account at the first opportunity on stage 2 in Copenhagen, the 25-year-old had to wait more than two long weeks and a lot of leg-zapping mountains for the chance to sprint again.

Only it turns out the classics style-final and infernal pace-setting of Wout van Aert torpedoed the chance.

“It was slightly downhill from five kilometers to go and we saw ‘the green machine’ [Van Aert] take the front with the ‘yellow man’ [Jonas Vingegaard] in the wheel, probably behind Laporte,” Jakobsen said.

Jakobsen abandoned any plans to strike for sprint victory number two in the tough uphill finish Friday in view of the Paris final some 48 hours’ up the road.

“At all the roundabouts, they went full so they lined [stage winner Laporte] up perfectly for the sprint,” Jakobsen said.

“I was a bit too far back and I didn’t have the legs and the final was a bit hard for me. So I said to Florian Sénéchal to sprint because I didn’t have the legs. I’m happy he was fifth, I’m proud of that.”

The Champs-Élysées has crowned some of the greatest stars of cycling.

Freddy Maertens, Bernard Hinault, Greg Lemond and Mark Cavendish have won there. Jakobsen’s one sprint abandon, two nights of good sleep and hundreds of local laps could see him next to lead the post-Tour parties in Paris.