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Tour de France

Tour de France: Fabio Jakobsen says admiration for Groenewegen has completely gone since crash

The Dutchman finished fifth after losing his leadout train around the final corner of stage 3.

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SØNDERBORG, Denmark (VN) — Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) commended Dylan Groenewegen on his stage-winning sprint on day 3 of the Tour de France, but said he had lost all admiration for his compatriot since he caused him to crash at high speed two years ago.

Jakobsen was left with a litany of injuries and spent weeks in hospital after Groenewegen squeezed him into the barriers at the 2020 Tour of Poland, causing him to go through them at high speed. Groenewegen was subsequently banned for nine months by the UCI for his part in the incident.

The two riders have been going up against each other over the last few days at the Tour de France with Jakobsen taking victory on stage 2 and Groenewegen claiming the win on stage 3. Though it is a great moment for Dutch sprinting, Jakobsen says that he can’t take any pleasure from Groenewegen’s win.

“I think he shows that he’s a good sprinter and he can also win. I have to say, before the crash I admire his palmarès, and I kind of looked up to him a bit but now that is completely gone after the crash and the mistake he made. I think that’s normal. It’s nice for him to win but it doesn’t really affect me,” Jakobsen told the press outside his team bus.

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After storming to victory on the opening sprint stage into Nyborg, Jakobsen was the overwhelming favorite for the win in Sønderborg. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl had a prime place near the front of the peloton, but it all went wrong going around the final corner.

Jakobsen had to slow to avoid a rider that had misjudged the bend and found himself well out of place as the group roared towards the finish line. As if to compound the issue, his usually pitch-perfect lead-out train hadn’t realized that the Dutchman had disappeared and only noticed he had gone when Michael Mørkøv peeled off to give him a clear run at the line.

“I think the team, until the last corner, did a perfect job. All the guys worked very hard, and it was quite easy on the wheels,” Jakobsen explained.

“I think that in the last corner we should have stayed a bit more on the right with Florian [Sénéchal] so nobody could pass. Now, there was one guy of Wanty he came and squeezed through. He missed the corner and with it he took me out of position.

“I lost five places and then I chose to remain calm and hope that Michael Mørkøv would swing out. Unfortunately, he thought I was on the wheel, I was not, and I think there I lost my chance to sprint for the win because I was just too far back. This is also sprinting but you can understand that I’m a little bit frustrated about that, but this is top sport and I like to win and I like to perform, especially for my teammates because they worked all day. I’ve got it in my legs, the speed is there to be able to get out and go for the line.”