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Report: Jakobsen out of coma and responsive in Polish hospital

Officials from the Sosnowiec hospital in Katowice say Jakobsen is out of a coma and responsive, but still in 'serious but stable' condition.

According to staff from the Sosnowiec hospital in Katowice, Poland, Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) has been brought out of a medically-induced coma.

Pawel Gruenpeter, deputy director of the Sosnowiec hospital told Polish media, “The patient is conscious, he reacts to solicitations, he is breathing on its own, the [heart function] is normal. We are now very happy.”

The director added, “If he survived such a fall, he will surely return to the sport.”

Gruenpeter had indicated on Thursday that Jakobsen’s condition had improved but was still “serious but stable.”

Prior to Gruenpeter’s statement, the Tour of Poland released a statement on its twitter account saying that Jakobsen’s condition had improved.

“We have good news from the hospital in Sosnowiec! @FabioJakobsen is awake now from the coma. Condition is ‘good’,” the Tour of Poland said via social media.

Jakobsen’s Deceuininck—Quick-Step team has yet to release a statement on the condition of the Dutch sprinter.

The young Dutch cyclist was put into a coma while he underwent five hours of surgery on Wednesday, following a horrific crash at the finish line of the first stage of the Tour of Poland.

The 23-year-old Jakobsen was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph as he raced elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (Jimbo-Visama) when the latter veered suddenly to the right, squeezing Jakobsen into the barriers.

Groenewegen went on to win the stage but was later disqualified with Jakobsen declared the winner.

Groenewegen on Thursday apologized saying, “I can’t find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and the others who fell or were affected.”

“I am thinking about him all the time,” he wrote.

Jakobsen’s team boss Patrick Lefevere called for an investigation into Groenewegen’s conduct and went so far as to indicate the Jumbo-Visma rider should face jail time.

“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 that Groenewegen was disqualified from the race. The UCI has referred the incident to a disciplinary panel.

The Katowice prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the accident.

Police have also gathered records of the crash, along with the bikes of the injured riders.

AFP contributed to this report.