Threats to Dylan Groenewegen are unacceptable and race barriers are to blame for crash, says riders's union

The crash happened on stage one of the Tour of Poland in 2020 with Fabio Jakobsen crashing through the race barriers

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Threats to Dylan Groenwegen were "unacceptable," the men's professional riders' union has said, while raising concerns about the safety barriers at the Tour of Poland. 

The International Association of Professional Riders (CPA) president, Gianni Bugno, has blamed the Tour of Poland's race barriers for the seriousness of Fabio Jakobsen's crash, which happened when Dylan Groenewegan deviated from his sprinting line.

Bugno also shared his disgust at the threats Groenewegen received from the public.

Speaking in a press release on the CPA website, Bugno said: "What happened is inadmissible, unworthy and indecent. Words and actions have weight and those that have been addressed to this boy are unacceptable.

"The finger must be pointed at the dangerous barriers that determined the severity of the fall in which Fabio Jakobsen suffered the most serious consequences.

"Dylan [Groenewegen] made a mistake in the race that he paid dearly, indeed today he is the only one to have paid for what happened at the finish line in Katowice."

The crash happened at the tour of Poland in the sprint finish of stage one into Katowice with Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) easily beating the other riders.

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But Groenewegen deviated off his racing line, forcing Jakobsen into the barriers. What happened next was the shocking part as Jakobsen plunged through the barriers.

Jakobsen had to be put into an induced coma and underwent multiple surgeries to help try and heal his facial injuries, with Groenewegen being handed a nine-month ban from racing.

Recently it was revealed that Groenewegen had received threats in the post and was also sent a noose, leading his family to get police protection for the Dutchman, who is a new father.

Bugno continued: "I hope that the controversy will now belong to the past and that once the sentence inflicted on Dylan is served, the whole group will welcome him back with friendship and understanding"

A similar crash happened at the Tour de France in 2017 when Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) forced Mark Cavendish (then Team Dimension Data) into the barriers, seeing Cavendish crash out and Sagan kicked off the race.

The finish into Katowice at the Tour of Poland has received criticism for a while now with the finish being slightly downhill, which means the speeds are dangerously fast when the sprinters are at full tilt.

The press release continued added that the CPA wants all races to have a specific level of barrier quality across all UCI races to make sure this never happens again: "As a movement we must do everything possible to ensure the safety of the events and of their main actors. It is our duty to avoid the physical and moral pain that Fabio, Dylan and many other cyclists, both female and male even in the minor categories have lived and are experiencing"

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.