The Dutch champion remains in an induced coma in the intensive care unit in Sosnowiec. In a statement on Thursday morning, his Deceuninck-QuickStep team described his condition as stable and said that medics would begin to bring him out of a coma later in the day.
“Fabio had facial surgery during the night. His situation is stable at the moment and later today the doctors will try to wake Fabio up,” read the statement.
Jakobsen’s parents and girlfriend travelled overnight from the Netherlands to be at the hospital in Sosnowiec. His Deceuninck-QuickStep team has opted to remain in the Tour de Pologne, which continues on Thursday with stage 2 from Opole to Zabrze.
Jakobsen was awarded victory on stage 1 after Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) was disqualified from the race for deviating from his line in the sprint and causing the mass crash. The Jumbo-Visma team offered an apology an hour after the stage, acknowledging that “crashes like these should not happen.”
Jakobsen was forced into the barriers at the finish line in Katowice and he was being treated by medics at the roadside before being transferred to the intensive care unit in nearby Sosnowiec. Speaking to naszosie.pl on Wednesday, the Tour de Pologne race doctor described the injuries sustained as “very serious” and “life-threatening”, adding that Jakobsen had suffered “a very serious head trauma, a crushed palate and upper respiratory tract” and “lost a lot of blood,” which made intubation difficult.
A number of other riders came down in the crash, including Groenewegen himself and Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ), who tore tendons in his shoulder and has been forced to abandon the Tour de Pologne.
A course-side official was also impacted by the crash and was transported to hospital. Race director Czeslaw Lang confirmed that the official suffered a head injury and is now in stable condition.
The UCI released a statement following the crash to condemn Groenewegen’s behaviour in the sprint, though it made no mention of the lay-out out of the downhill finishing straight in Katowice, which had drawn criticism from riders.
“Every year the same silly downhill sprint in the @Tour_de_Pologne Every year I ask myself why the organisation thinks it‘s a good idea. Bunch sprints are dangerous enough, you don’t need a downhill finish with 80kph!” wrote Simon Geschke (CCC Team) on Twitter.”