Patrick Lefevere says he takes back his comments about putting Dylan Groenewegen in jail.
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step manager made the comments after his rider Fabio Jakobsen was left in a serious condition after a high-speed crash on the opening stage of the Tour of Poland.
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Jumbo-Visma’s Groenwegen caused the crash by veering off his line while sprinting for the finish, forcing Jakobsen into the barrier.
The barrier gave way, sending Jakobsen into the air and causing a huge crash at the front of the bunch.
In the wake of the incident, Lefevere took to Twitter to call Groenewegen’s actions “criminal” and said “they have to put this guy in jail.”
But Lefevere has since taken back his words, saying they were made in “the emotion of the moment.”
In his column for Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Lefevere said: “Of course I have seen Dylan Groenewegen’s apologies. I am not inhuman, I realise that he is also very moved and that he did not want Fabio’s serious crash.
“That does not alter the fact that he has made a mistake and that he has to bear the consequences. I take back that they should put him in jail – that was the emotion of the moment – but we continue our lawsuit against him.”
Jakobsen is recovering well after the terrifying crash, after initially being put in an induced coma due to the extent of his injuries.
After undergoing facial surgery in Poland, the 23-year-old has since been transferred to a hospital in the Netherlands where his condition continues to improve.
Jakobsen can still only communicate via text, but his team are hopeful that he can return to racing.
Groenewegen has apologised for causing the crash, while Jumbo-Visma have said they will not race the Dutch sprinter until the UCI has completed its investigation into the collision.
Shortly after the crash, Groenewegen said: “I find it terrible what happened yesterday. I can’t find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and the others who crashed or were involved. What matters most now is Fabio’s health. I think about him all the time.”