The UCI has condemned the actions of the Dutch sprinter, Dylan Groenewegen saying it has referred him to the Disciplinary Commission for what it called ‘dangerous behaviour’.
The crashed happened in the final few metres before crossing the line on stage one of the Tour of Poland. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was making a move on Groenewegen’s right, which was defended but still left a gap for the Dutch champion to move through. Groenewegen closed the gap more and more until Jakobsen had nowhere else to go but the barriers.
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The statement read: “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) strongly condemns the dangerous behaviour of rider Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), who sent Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) into the barriers a few metres from the finish, causing a collective crash at the end of the first stage of the Tour of Poland.
“Groenewegen was disqualified from the race by the Commissaires’ Panel.
“The UCI, which considers the behaviour unacceptable, immediately referred the matter to the Disciplinary Commission to request the imposition of sanctions commensurate with the seriousness of the facts.
“Our Federation is wholeheartedly with the affected riders.”
Jakobsen’s condition has been described as ‘serious but stable’ since being placed in an medically induced coma. He has avoided any brain or spinal damage but did have plastic surgery for his facial injuries, which took five hours to complete.
The hospital doctors treating the 23-year-old have said that they will attempt to wake him up today but is being kept in a coma for now as a precaution, due to the many injuries he sustained, including a chest injury that is affecting breathing.
Groenewegen’s team, Jumbo-Visma, have said that they will have an internal discussion on what happened and make a statement on it at a later date.
Several issues have been raised about the finish into Katowice with its slightly downhill sprint the riders can be exceeding 80km/h, which last year’s stage winner Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) managed.
But riders are making the point that even at that speed the barriers should not have broken immediately on impact, hurling Jakobsen in the air and the barriers across the road, taking out yet more riders.
The circuit, which is very tight and twisty with multiple hazards and also had several smaller crashes as the race sped up for the finale.
Groenewegen has since tweeted his apology, saying: “I hate what happened yesterday. I can’t find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and others involved in the crash.
“At this moment, the health of Fabio is the most important thing. I think about him constantly.”