Road

Groenewegen apologizes as Lefevere seeks legal action following Tour of Poland crash

Dylan Groenewegen apologizes for the crash that sent Fabio Jakobsen to the hospital while DQS manager Patrick Lefevere calls for legal action against the Jumbo-Visma sprinter.

Deceuninck–Quick-Step team manager Patrick Lefevere insisted on legal action against Jumbo-Visma sprinter Dylan Groenewegen for the crash that sent Fabio Jakobsen to the hospital during stage 1 of the Tour of Poland.

Groenewegen, meanwhile, has apologized for the terrifying incident.

“I hate what happened yesterday. I can’t find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and others who have been dropped or hit. At the moment, the health of Fabio is the most important thing. I think about him constantly,” wrote Groenewegen on twitter.

Groenewegen’s tweet followed several apologies made by his Jumbo-Visma team following the crash, which sent Jakobsen, 23, tumbling into the barriers at the tail end of a high-speed spring into Katowice. Jakobsen tangled with Groenewegen after the Jumbo-Visma sprinter appeared to veer to his right during the final meters of the sprint. The two Dutchmen made contact and Jakobsen was thrown into the barriers.

Jakobsen suffered serious injuries in the fall and was placed in a coma at a hospital in Katowice.

On Wednesday evening Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge called Lefevere to personally apologize for the incident.

“I told him he was a brave man to call me, and that I cannot understand why Groenewegen did what he did,” Lefevere said.

“I have watched the sprint dozens of times and I cannot fathom why Groenewegen did that,” Lefevere added.

In the hours following the crash Lefevere was highly critical of Groenewegen’s sprint and tweeted that the Dutch rider should be sent to jail for the crash. Lefevere confirmed to reporters that he believes Groenewegen should face penalties outside of cycling for the incident.

“I confirm what I said on Twitter. It was a very dirty move from Groenewegen,” Lefevere told the Belga news agency. “We have already filed a complaint to the UCI and we will file a complaint to the Polish police, we won’t let this drop.”

The UCI previously said it “strongly condemns the dangerous behavior of Dylan Groenewegen,” and the Dutchman was disqualified from the race. The UCI has referred the incident to a disciplinary panel.

Groenewegen suffered a broken collarbone and was also sent to a hospital following the crash to undergo an operation on the injury. On Wednesday evening Plugge and team director Merijn Zeeman visited the Dutchman in the hospital to discuss the incident.

“We let him tell his story briefly,” Plugge said. “Dylan feels terrible about what happened. He was deeply affected by it. Also for him the recovery of Fabio and the others who were injured in this terrible crash is all that counts now. Soon we will discuss the incident in detail with him. Our thoughts are with the victims and we hope with all our heart for a good recovery.”