Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s manager Patrick Lefevere has said that the team will file a formal complaint with the police following a horrific crash on stage one of the Tour of Poland.
Fabio Jakobsen was severely injured when hitting and then flying over a barrier after being forced into one by Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen in the closing metres of the sprint in Katowice.
The Dutch sprinter is in an induced coma in hospital and his condition has been described as stable. On Wednesday night he underwent facial surgery with Lefevere saying that “all the bones in his face are broken. It’s really bad.”
Doctors will try to wake Jakobsen up today. Lefevere added: “His condition is serious. Fortunately no vital organs have been hit, he is stable, but the next few hours are important.”
In the aftermath of the crash, Lefevere took to Twitter to claim that Groenewegen’s actions were criminal and that “they have to put this guy in jail.”
The UCI has already announced that it will investigate the sprint, with Groenewegen potentially in line for repercussions.
In an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws, Lefevere did not backtrack on his comments and instead reiterated his view, insisting that he will lodge a complaint to police in Poland.
“I am still very angry and stay behind those Twitter messages,” he said. “This was a very dirty action by Groenewegen. I saw the images on my phone on Wednesday. Actually, I've watched that sprint dozens of times. I do not understand the action of Groenewegen.
“A rider has to stay on his line. He starts the sprint in the middle and he can choose his line as the first sprinter, of course.
“But after that, he goes categorically to the right and even more to the right. He sees Fabio coming and then sticks out another elbow.
“Groenewegen actually almost lies on Fabio, so that he loses his balance and falls against the barrier. He is really being thrown in there. There is no understanding for this, this is an attack.
“He really drives Fabio into the barrier. Fabio was waiting until the last 50 metres, and without the action of Groenewegen he flies past him.
“So no, I will not take back my words from last night. A complaint has already been filed with the UCI and the team will do the same in Poland to the police.
“I think I should make a complaint here, you can't let this pass you by. You should do it on the spot where the accident happened. ”
Lefevere revealed that he had received a call from his opposite counterpart Richard Plugge of Jumbo-Visma and expressed his displeasure.
“I told him that I thought it was brave that he called me, but I also told him that I have no understanding whatsoever for Groenewegen’s manoeuvre. You can’t do that.”
Groenewegen has since tweeted an 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.”
Cycling Weekly has contacted Jumbo-Visma for comment.
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