CCC Team have announced that they tried to refuse to accept the leader’s jersey at the start of stage two of the Tour of Poland.
A horror crash at the end of stage one resulted in Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Fabio Jakobsen being hospitalised and placed in an induced coma after he crashed into barriers just metres from the finish line.
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His current condition is described as stable, but he remains in a coma. Doctors will attempt to wake him this afternoon.
Dylan Groenewegen, Jumbo-Visma’s sprinter, forced his Dutch compatriot into the barriers and was disqualified from the race.
Jakobsen was awarded the stage win by race organisers afterwards, but because he was unable to start stage two in Opole, race leadership was given to Kamil Małecki of CCC.
Marc Sarreau of Groupama-FDJ should have inherited the lead, but the Frenchman was also injured the crash and also failed to start stage two.
Sarreau went to hospital but was discharged at 1am. He suffered multiple burns and acromioclavicular dislocation.
However, given the seriousness of Jakobsen’s situation, CCC asked not take the leader’s jersey and give it to a Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider. However the request was refused and Małecki wore the leader’s jersey for stage two.
In a statement, they said: “CCC Team was last night informed by the Tour de Pologne race organisers that Kamil Małecki would technically be race leader on stage two after the terrible crash involving Fabio Jakobsen.
“In light of the circumstances and out of respect for Fabio and Marc Sarreau, who was also injured in the crash, both the team and Kamil do not feel it is appropriate for Kamil to wear the leader’s jersey and have instead requested that the jersey be given to Deceuninck – Quick-Step for stage two. However, this was not possible due to race regulations.
“All of our thoughts are with Fabio, his family and friends, and the entire Deceuninck-Quick-Step team, and we wish Fabio well in his recovery.”
The crash has sparked a debate within cycling about the safety of finishes, with Julian Alaphilippe saying that there are a “lot of things” to change in the sport.
Sarreau commented: “The accident happened yesterday but this sprint has been contested for several years.
“The most unfortunate part of all this is that we still ride on beautiful roads, outside the city centre. There is a possibility to finish a little further or a little earlier, on a beautiful avenue, rather than on a descent as it is now.
“Even sportingly, the result does not necessarily say much about the true level of each rider. My Power Sensor recorded an 81.7 km/h peak yesterday. It’s a special sprint.
“We voluntarily put a bigger gear that day. It’s also difficult to stand on your pedals because there is so much speed that you are not aerodynamic at all.”