Fabio Jakobsen pounces for emotional Tour de France stage two win

Fabio Jakobsen crosses the line to win stage two at the Tour de France - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen crosses the line to win stage two at the Tour de France - GETTY IMAGES

We will never know whether Mark Cavendish would have won Saturday’s bunch gallop into Nyborg on the windswept Danish coast and so made history by becoming the most successful Tour de France stage winner of all time.

The Manxman, tied with Eddy Merckx on 34 wins, was controversially left at home. It remains to be seen whether the greatest sprinter to have graced the sport gets to tackle this race again. At 37, time is not on Cavendish’s side. But if the last few years have taught us anything, it is never to write him off.

In Cavendish’s stead, the man who Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl picked as their lead sprinter did the business. And it would take a heart of stone not to be delighted for Fabio Jakobsen.

Two years ago, at the Tour of Poland, the 25-year-old Jakobsen crashed so badly on a downhill sprint finish at the Tour of Poland – pushed into the barriers by fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen, who subsequently received a nine-month ban – he had to be placed into a medically induced coma.

Jakobsen underwent facial reconstructive surgery and for a brief while his life, let alone his cycling career, was on the line. His extensive list of serious injuries included a skull fracture, torn palate, brain contusion, broken nose, loss of part of both his upper and lower jaw as well as 10 teeth.

Jakobsen’s comeback at last year’s Vuelta a Espana, where he claimed three stage wins and the points jersey, was one of the stories of the season. His win on Saturday, coming around Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) in emphatic fashion to claim victory in his first proper stage of his first Tour de France, was the stuff of dreams.

The second stage from Roskilde to Nyborg had been billed as one to break limbs and bodies, with crosswinds expected to wreak merry havoc on the peloton as they tried to cross the Great Belt Bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in the world.

In the event, by the time the peloton got there it was a straight-up headwind, all but neutralising the stage until the final sprint. But take nothing away from Jakobsen – this was a wonderful story and he was understandably emotional afterwards.

“I’ve been dreaming about this for 15 years,” he said through tears. “It [his comeback from injury] was a long process, step by step. A lot of people helped me on the way, and this is to pay them back. So they can see that it wasn’t for nothing.”

Cavendish, while disappointed not to be there himself, will no doubt be delighted for his team-mate. He has always championed Jakobsen. It was just unfortunate that only one could go.   “We both deserve to be here,” Jakobsen said when asked about Cavendish.

“He’s been a huge example for me in the last 15 years. He is a legend. I am grateful that I could take the spot in the team. For some people they think I took his spot …[but] it is special that I get to have the chance to sprint for the win here …” It certainly is.

While the anticipated crosswinds did not materialise – Van Aert, whose second place was enough to see him claim the yellow jersey, actually described the crossing of the 18km-long Great Belt Bridge as “boring” – it was not uneventful.

Wout van Aert has claimed the yellow jersey - AP
Wout van Aert has claimed the yellow jersey - AP

Two big crashes – the first taking out the yellow jersey Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), the second taking out among others Ineos Grenadiers’ co-leader Dani Martinez, four-time winner Chris Froome (Israel Premier-Tech) and Australian general classification hopeful Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroen) – added some drama to proceedings. But pretty much everyone survived unscathed and the second crash happened inside the final three kilometres meaning no one lost time.

“It was sketchy and stressful but I think we’ve definitely had worse,” said Ineos Grenadiers’ co-leader Geraint Thomas, who was still getting over his gilet gaffe from Friday, when he forgot to take off his thermal overwear and gave up the benefits of a $5,000 (£4,130) skinsuit in his time trial.

“We knew the wind direction on the bridge wasn’t too dangerous but everyone still wanted to be in front. The boys were really good looking after me, Yatesy [Adam Yates] and Dani [Martinez].”

Jakobsen, though, was undoubtedly the story of the day. His victory, following his team-mate Lampaert’s win in the prologue time trial on Friday, was no doubt a huge relief to Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere after his big selection call. That is now two wins in two days for the Belgian superteam, who are without world champion Julian Alaphilippe and Cavendish this year but continue to sweep all before them.

But most of all it was a triumph for Jakobsen himself, after all he has been through over the last two years, coming back from his near fatal crash. And with the added pressure on him here having been seen to have “taken” Cavendish’s spot.

“Well, pressure makes diamonds,” he replied when asked whether he felt that pressure. “I always cope well with pressure. I like to perform under pressure. The whole team believes in me. My family believes in me. I believe in myself … But the most pressure is the pressure I put on myself to be the best version of me. I’m just happy I still get to ride a bike… and luckily I can still win.”

Jakobsen sprints to stage win: As it happened . . .

04:14 PM

Jakobsen wins stage two at the Tour de France!

Fabio Jakobsen has done it. The man who got the nod over Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl team-mate Mark Cavendish has won his first Tour de France stage. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) opened up the sprint from around 200 metres out, before the Dane was overhauled by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). It was the Dutchman, though, who took the line honours. That's two out of two for Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl following Yves Lampaert's surprise win on Friday.

Speaking immediately afterwards, Jakobsen said: “Today was 'incroyable' (incredible) as we would say in French. For me it's been a long process, step by step, a lot of people have helped me along the way. This is to pay them back and to see it was not for nothing.

Fabio Jakobsen - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen, Mads Pedersen and Wout van Aert  - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen, Mads Pedersen and Wout van Aert - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen and Yves Lampaert - GETTY IMAGES
Fabio Jakobsen and Yves Lampaert - GETTY IMAGES

“I'm happy I still enjoy riding the bike and racing the bike and I'm lucky I can still win,” the 25-year-old added. “It's an amazing day and I'd like to thank all the people who helped me to get here.”

Van Aert, meanwhile, has become the new race leader thanks to the 6sec time bonus he earned for finishing second, the Jumbo-Visma rider will now take a 1sec lead over fellow Belgian Lampaert into Sunday's stage. Van Aert also tops the points classification, leading Jakobsen by a single point, with Pedersen up to third.

Wout van Aert - GETTY IMAGES
Wout van Aert - GETTY IMAGES

Despite missing out on winning on his home roads, Pedersen sounded sanguine, saying: “I opened up the sprint with 200 metres to go – the whole team did a perfect job today. We knew it would be difficult with Fabio and those guys, but in the end, you know, third place is okay. I couldn't do anything else.”

Pleased to say that despite a huge crash in the finale, it looks as if the general classification riders made it home. Thanks to the 3km rule, none of the riders involved in the crash will have lost any time. Time will tell if anybody picked up any injuries, but obviously I am in no position know that right now. Fingers crossed everybody is okay.

04:13 PM

1km to go

A chaotic and frentic finale.

04:13 PM

Massive crash in the peloton

Not sure who was involved, there were some Ineos Grenadiers riders – but they will not lose any time on general classification.

04:11 PM

3km to go

Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl and BikeExchange-Jayco are riding shoulder-to-shoulder. To their right, Jumbo-Visma start to wind up the pace. They are off the bridge and under 3km from the finish, so that will be ba relief for the general classification riders.

04:10 PM

4.5km to go

Next to take things up on the front is Florian Sénéchal for Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, but BikeExchange-Jayco are marking him closely.

04:09 PM

5.5km to go

Quinn Simmons inches his way to the front, the young American sheltering his team-mates from the wind, but can Mads Pedersen repay the bearded one and take a stage win on home soil?

04:07 PM

6.5km to go

A slight change in direction on the bridge – it veers slightly to the right – means the headwind will turn into a head-crosswind, as a result the pace has increased as, yet again, riders look to protect themselves.

Great Belt Bridge - AP
Great Belt Bridge - AP

04:04 PM

8km to go

Rigoberto Urán lives to fight another day, the Colombian has managed to get back into the peloton. The general classification teams will be hoping there are no further crashes on this bridge.

04:02 PM

10km to go

BikeExchange-Jayco are riding down the left-hand side of the wide road, hoping to protect their man Dylan Groenewegen ahaed of the upcoming sprint finale. Stefan Bissegger, meanwhile, has dropped out of the peloton to drop back and help his EF Education-EasyPost team-mates who are attempting to shepherd Rigoberto Urán back into the bunch.

03:59 PM

12km to go

Very much looks like the peloton is still going into a strong block headwind, hence the lack of action. The peloton is looking relaxed, as if out for a Sunday club run. If it stays like this, Rigoberto Urán may be able to chase back on before the pace increases again once the sprinters' teams get to work.

03:56 PM

13.5km to go

Rigoberto Urán is over a minute down on the peloton which is not good news for the EF Education-EasyPost team leader. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), a stage winner at last year's Tour, is looking relaxed sat in the middle of the bunch and appears to be whistling a tune to Geraint Thomas.

03:53 PM

16km to go

Yves Lampaert and Michael Morkov have managed to regain contact with the leading group, while further back Rigoberto Urán has three team-mates towing him along, while tucked in behind that quartet of EF Education-EasyPost riders is Martijn Tusveld, Michal Storer (Groupama-FDJ) and a few others.

Rigoberto Urán is helped chase back on by three EF Education-EasyPost team-mates  - GETTY IMAGES
Rigoberto Urán is helped chase back on by three EF Education-EasyPost team-mates - GETTY IMAGES

03:51 PM

17.5km to go

It looks as if the peloton is riding into a headwind – they certainly appear to be going fairly slowly, which will help the chasers get back on. Rigoberto Urán is still chasing, nervous times for the Colombian.

03:47 PM

Yellow jersey Lampaert crashes

The peloton is incredibly nervous, two Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl riders – Yves Lampaert and Michael Morkov – went down which is not good news for Fabio Jakobsen.

Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) also went down, as did Alberto Dainese (DSM), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-EasyPost).

Alberto Dainese (left) and Anthony Turgis  - GETTY IMAGES
Alberto Dainese (left) and Anthony Turgis - GETTY IMAGES

03:45 PM

20.5km to go

The peloton hits the bridge which has a very wide road. There is clearly a strong wind, with riders doing their best to sit on the right had side of the road to avoid any gusts. As it stands, though, the pleoton is riding as one compact group.

Great Belt Bridge  - GETTY IMAGES
Great Belt Bridge - GETTY IMAGES

03:43 PM

Crash in the bunch

Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost) has crashed, as has Tour de France debutant Kevin Vermaerke (DSM).

03:42 PM

22km to go

Jumbo-Visma, Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, Lotto-Soudal, Groupama-FDJ and Ineos Grenadiers are fanned out filling the width of the road. The pace has clearly increased as the inch towards the start of this bridge everybody has been waiting for all day.

03:32 PM

30km to go

Game over for Sven Erik Bystrom who has been swallowed up by the bunch which briefly put in a huge effort. The windy conditions are causing the riders to accelerate into each corner or bend, everybody is doing their best to avoid being caught out by any potential splits. Interesting to note, also, that Groupama-FDJ has riders up near the front. I can't remember the year – 2019? – but they lost out big-time in a similarly windy stage which put paid to the general classification hopes of Thibaut Pinot.

03:27 PM

33.5km to go

Having swinged on to a slightly wider road, riders surge forward in an attempt to gain some valuable real estate near the front of the peloton. Sven Erik Bystrom's lead has dropped to just 10sec. The Norwegian's day looks done, but he should be taking the combativity award in a short while.

03:24 PM

37km to go

Tom Pidcock is riding up near the front down the left-hand side of the road, pulling hard for his Ineos Grenadiers team-mates. Sat on the Yorkshireman's right shoulder is the entire UAE Team Emirates squad, then the BikeExchange-Jayco, Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, Lotto-Soudal and Jumbo-Visma teams fill out the road.

03:20 PM

40km to go

Two riders down – Martijn Tusveld (DSM) and Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech) have both kissed the asphalt, but are up and moving. They look a little flustered, but I expect they will be back riding soon.

03:19 PM

Wiggins: ‘It’s going to be quite the spectacle’

Bradley Wiggins, reporting for Eurosport from the back of a motorbike, is currently whizzing his way over this long Big Belt Bridge and he is impressed. He also reckons there will be ‘murder’ there once the peloton reaches it, thanks to the strong gusts of wind that are buffeting the 18km long construction.

03:14 PM

Vlasov delayed

Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), who is targeting the general classification at this year's Tour, was forced into stopping briefly for some assistance from his team car. Team-mate Nils Politt stopped to help him chase back on, but somehow managed to get overtaken by his team leader once the Russian was back in his saddle. Ooops.

03:10 PM

45km to go

Sven Erik Bystrom appears to be fading a little now, his advantage over the chasing pack has dropped to 45sec. BikeExchange-Jayco are riding dead centre of the speeding bunch, hoping to set up their sprinter Dylan Groenewegen who has shown some good form of late, but has not always had the best of luck. Groenewegen, of course, was the rider who was involved in the horrific crash with Fabio Jakobsen at the Tour of Poland back in 2020. While Jakobsen suffered some terrible injuries, much of the finger pointing was in the direction of Groenewegen who was subsequently suspended from racing. I think everybody involved in cycling would like to see Groenewegen back to winning grand tour stages.

03:03 PM

50km to go

Just under 30km from the Great Belt Bridge now, here's what awaits the peloton . . .

Great Belt Bridge - REUTERS
Great Belt Bridge - REUTERS

02:57 PM

55km to go

Sven Erik Bystrom is digging deep into his reserves, and the Norwegian has gained a further 30sec on the peloton. Impressive stuff. I was expecting him to soft pedal his way towards the combativity award for the day, but it looks as if he wants a little more than that. Can he take the stage win? Unlikely, but let's see.

02:57 PM

55km to go

Sven Erik Bystrom is digging deep into his reserves, and the Norwegian has gained a further 30sec on the peloton. Impressive stuff. I was expecting him to soft pedal his way towards the combativity award for the day, but it looks as if he wants a little more than that. Can he take the stage win? Unlikely, but let's see.

02:50 PM

60km to go

And then there was one: Sven Erik Bystrom is the last man standing at the head of the race. Magnus Cort appears to have eased off his pedals, looking happy with his day's work. The peloton, meanwhile, is looming just 25sec behind the stage leader. A slight moment of concern for Mads Pedersen, the Daninsh fastman who may be thinking about challenging for the stage today, who has had to stop at the roadside with a slight mechanical.

02:44 PM

65km to go

As a result of the increase in speed during the intermediate spring, the peloton has taken a huge chunk of time out of the two-man breakaway's lead which has dropped to just 45sec. It looks as if almost every team is doing its best to get towards the front, but of course that is impossible, even on the wide looking roads they are rolling along on. With the threat of crosswinds on the upcoming bridge, both the sprinters and the general classification riders will need to be positioned near the front to ensure they are not caught out if any splits are formed.

Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom - GETTY IMAGES
Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom - GETTY IMAGES

02:32 PM

Advantage Ewan in the race for green

It was quite a scrappy approach to the intermediate sprint. There was a little more road furniture than riders and teams will have wanted which may have made the peloton a little nervous. Sven Erik Bystrom led Magnus Cort over the line to open his account, before Caleb Ewan flexed his muscles before outsprinting Wout van Aert and Peter Sagan to take the lion's share of the points.

Interesting to note that Fabio Jakobsen watched the sprint from a distance, while Dylan Groenewegen didn't even bother contesting, suggesting he is not thinking about the green jersey.

02:22 PM

80km to go

Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), the newly crowned German national champion, just stopped briefly to take a bike change, but he looked fairly relaxed and will soon get back into the peloton which now trails the stage leaders by 1min 37sec. Not too far from the intermediate sprint in Kalundborg now, with the sprinters' teams getting into formation, preparing themselves for battle.

02:16 PM

85km to go

Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom's lead has dropped a little to a shade over two minutes. Unless something remarkable happens, this pair will probably be getting caught either just before they arrive on the dreaded bridge, or on it. Should the pair ride into a headwind at any point, they will struggle to hold off the chasing pack. By contrast, a tailwind or cross-tail would help them.

02:11 PM

It's a stitch up!

Just heard from my colleague Tom Cary who said there was still some ‘amusement’ around the team busses this morning following Geraint Thomas's gilet gaffe. Apparently, the Welshman had his skinsuit stitched by a seamstress on Thursday to ensure there were no creases in it, making it more aerodynamic. And then he went and forgot to take his gilet off. Oh dear.

01:57 PM

97.5km to go

Cyril Barthe and Pierre Rolland dropped back into the peloton a few minutes back, meaning there are just two riders out in front now: Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom. The leading pair have an advantage of 2min 53sec on the peloton, which remains under the control of the sprinters' teams, while Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates are also positioned fairly near the front, no doubt doing their best to protect their respective general classification riders.

Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom - GETTY IMAGES
Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom - GETTY IMAGES

01:55 PM

Docker: 'Look at the wind sock, it's a crosswind!'

Tom Cary, our colleague on the ground in Denmark, is currently travelling with Lionel Birnie and Mitch Docker from The Cycling Podcast, and they have just driven over the Great Belt Bridge. Docker, a rider who loved the classics before he retired at the end of last season, got a little excited once he spotted the windsock once they turned on to the bridge.  "Actually as we get further on it's now a cross-head wind. Whatever it is, it's f------ windy!"

sock - TOM CARY
sock - TOM CARY

01:32 PM

Cort is the king of the hills

Magnus Cort goes over the summit of the Côte de Kårup Strandbakke having dropped Sven Erik Bystrom. The Dane adds a third point to his tally in the mountains classification – that's a 100 per cent hit rate for him today – before raising his arms in celebration as if he had won the stage. He looks pretty chuffed. He definitely wants out of the Rapha-Palace kit. Nailed on.

01:26 PM

Cort and Bystrom press on | 120km to go

Magnus Cort and Sven Erik Bystrom have gained 55sec on Cyril Barthe and Pierre Rolland, while the peloton is another 2min 5sec down the road. The pace in the peloton, by the way, is being controlled by those teams including sprinters. Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, Lotto-Soudal and BikeExchange-Jayco are all represented.

01:14 PM

Cort all but takes polka dot jersey

Massive crowds on the second climb of the day where they are able to cheer on Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) who wins his second point in the mountains classification. All the Dane needs to do now is complete the stage within the time limit and he will get to wear the leader's polka dot jersey on Sunday.

Starting to wonder if Cort is just desperate to get out of his garish new jersey – the bright pink kit that was launhced earlier this week. Love it, or loath it: it has got tongues wagging. Spare a thought for the backroom staff, though, who cannot ditch their team issue kit – as modelled below by team chiropractor Matt Rabin – in favour of a natty polka dot jersey.

Matt Rabin and Tom Cary - LIONEL BIRNIE
Matt Rabin and Tom Cary - LIONEL BIRNIE

01:00 PM

Cort becomes virtual leader in the mountains

Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) has taken the first point in the mountains classification after the Dane beat Norwegian Sven Erik Bystrom (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), to the line in a fiercely fought scrap.

Once over the summit, the two Scandinavians pushed on leaving the B&B Hotels-KTM pair of Cyril Barthe and Pierre Rolland trailing in their wake. Should they push on all the way to the next climb in a little over 11km then, should Cort take to single point he will be assure of taking the polka dot jersey later on this afternoon.

Magnus Cort - EPA
Magnus Cort - EPA

12:57 PM

Big numbers at the roadside

From the start of the day, there has been huge crowds lining the road – little wonder Magnus Cort was so keen on getting into the move.

Stage two: Live updates from Tour de France 2022 - GETTY IMAGES
Stage two: Live updates from Tour de France 2022 - GETTY IMAGES
Stage two: Live updates from Tour de France 2022 - GETTY IMAGES
Stage two: Live updates from Tour de France 2022 - GETTY IMAGES
Stage two: Live updates from Tour de France 2022 - ap
Stage two: Live updates from Tour de France 2022 - ap

12:53 PM

145km to go

Pierre Rolland, the veteran Frenchman who won the mountains classification at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, shifted to the front of the four-man breakaway as they approached the first climb of the day, the category four Côte d'Asnæs Indelukke. It looked as if he was hoping to split the small group, but Magnus Cort closed him down fairly swiftly. Cort is not giving away an inch of his home roads.

12:45 PM

As it stands . . .

Pretty much from the flag, a small four-man breakaway formed including Danish rider Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Sven Erik Bystrom (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Cyril Barthe (B&B Hotels-KTM) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM). That quartet holds an advantage of just under two minutes, the peloton seemingly in no mood to gift them too much time, suggesting the sprint teams are keen on contesting the stage win.

09:55 AM


And welcome to our live rolling blog from the second stage of the 109th edition of the Tour de France, the 202.2 run from Roskilde to Nyborg, day two of the grand départ in Denmark.

Stage two profile
Stage two profile

Following yesterday's stunning win from Yves Lampaert (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), today will see racing on the open road on what is yet another flattish course. There are just three small category four climbs in today's stage where a solitary point is up for grabs in the mountains classification atop each and so should one rider from a breakaway take two, then he will wear the maillot à pois – the polka dot jersey – on Sunday. If three riders take a point each, then the leader in that particular competition will be determined by their respective standing in the general classification.

But few will be licking their lips in anticipation at the prospect of the battle for points in the mountians classification, but rather watching and waiting to see if the inclusion of the Storebæltsbroen – Great Belt Bridge – plays a part in how the stage pans out. Connecting the islands of Zealand and Funen, the 18km long suspension bridge ends just 3km from the finishing line and so if, as expected – or hoped, by some – any crosswinds appear, as they often do in the region, then there could be racing carnage.

Buoyed by their success on Friday, and, no doubt, hoping to silence their critics following the non-selection of Mark Cavendish, Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl will be the favourites to win the stage through Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen. Of the pure sprinters, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) will also be hoping to challenge, but both lack the sort of support that the in-form Jakobsen has at his disposal.

If chaos ensues on the bridge and Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl are unable to control things, then the stage could be up for grabs and may favour the riders you would ordinarily call classics specialists. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) may fancy their chances, while Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) may attempt a long-range effort. The Dane starts the day 15sec in arrears of Lampaert and, one suspects, he would love to wear the yellow jersey on home soil during Sunday's stage from Vejle to Sonderborg.

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