Dylan Groenewegen banned from cycling for nine months after crash which left Fabio Jakobsen in a coma

Dyan Groenewegen, grounded centre, was held responsible for the crash

Dylan Groenewegen, one of cycling’s top sprinters, has been banned from the sport for nine months after causing a crash which left his fellow Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen in a coma. 

Groenewegen veered from his line during a frantic finish of stage one at the Tour of Poland in August, knocking Jakobsen into railings at high speed. Jakobsen survived the incident after spending a week in intensive care. He underwent two reconstructive surgeries on his face and jaw, with more operations scheduled next year.

In a statement, the sport’s governing body (UCI) said: “The UCI referred (to its disciplinary commission) the case against the rider, who acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation of UCI regulations. The rider collaborated with the investigation and accepted to serve a period of suspension until May 7, 2021, corresponding to a period of nine months from the date of the incident.”

Groenewegen said the crash would “forever be a black page in my career”.

“During the sprint I deviated from my line. I’m sorry, because I want to be a fair sprinter,” he said. “The consequences were very unfortunate and serious. I’m very aware of that and I hope this has been a wise lesson for every sprinter. I follow the news of Fabio’s recovery closely. I can only hope that one day he’ll return completely.” 

His team, the Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma, said: “It was a crash where the severity of the consequences was unfathomable. Now that the disciplinary case has been concluded, we can start looking forward again. We will do that together with Dylan.”

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