Two years ago, Fabio Jakobsen fell badly on the Tour of Poland, on Saturday the Dutchman wins the second stage of the Tour de France. The Belgian Wout van Aert takes over the yellow jersey.
Almost two years after a horrific fall almost cost him his life, the Dutchman celebrated the biggest success of his career so far by winning the second stage of the 109th Tour de France.
At first Fabio Jakobsen was a bit lost at the finish and then overjoyed he fell into the arms of his teammate Yves Lampaert. In a high-speed sprint in Nyborg on Saturday, the Dutchman edged ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert, who took the leader’s yellow jersey from Lampaert through a time bonus.
“It’s been a long road to get here. I worked hard and made it step by step, »said Jakobsen and thanked Lampaert, who had won the first stage in Copenhagen. “He told me last night that although he had the yellow jersey, he would definitely drive for me.” With Jakobsen’s triumph, the discussions about not nominating his teammate Mark Cavendish have also ended. The Brit wanted to set a record of a total of 35 stage victories on the Tour this year. However, QuickStep AlphaVinyl Team Principal Patrick Lefevere had no head for Cavendish’s record-breaking pursuit and took the out-of-form Jakobsen with him on the Tour.
Max Walscheid was the best German
The finale of the 202.2 kilometer stage from Roskilde to Nyborg was overshadowed by a mass crash 2.2 kilometers from the finish. Defending champion Tadej Pogacar was also stopped. However, since the crash happened within the last three kilometers, all drivers got the same time. Max Walscheid was the best German in twelfth place. “There were a lot of tight situations, I touched the brake more than once. The track was okay, the wind was very close to the front. So everyone was still there. It was very disorganized and hectic as a result, »said Walscheid.
In the overall standings, van Aert is now one second ahead of Lampaert. “It was a crazy day, but in the end we got the win. That was the most important thing, »said Lampaert. The Belgian was involved in a crash with Jakobsen a good 20 kilometers from the finish, but fought his way back to the front.
Jakobsen’s stage win made up for everything. Two years ago, the Dutchman’s career seemed over. After a bad fall in the Tour of Poland when he was pushed into the balustrades by his compatriot Dylan Groenewegen, Jakobsen was in an artificial coma for a while and had to undergo several surgeries. After the fall, he only had one tooth of his own and had to have 130 stitches in his face.
Discussion material: Bridge across the Great Belt
Jakobsen is apparently able to suppress the bad times during the races. In the sloping finale in Nyborg, the 25-year-old stayed clean and was clearly the fastest. Before that, the stage, before which the crossing of the Great Belt over an 18-kilometre-long bridge had caused a lot of discussion shortly before the finish, had mutated into a real bore. The Dane Magnus Cort broke away with the Norwegian Sven Erik Byström and was the first to secure the first mountain jersey of this year’s tour on three small hills, to the delight of several hundred thousand fans. About 45 kilometers before the finish, Cort’s escape was over, Byström was caught shortly afterwards – and the final on the Great Belt began.
However, it wasn’t the wind that caused the excitement, but the nervousness in the field. After only a few hundred meters on the bridge, Lampaert, the winner of the opening round, was involved in a fall. Only four kilometers later, with the support of two helpers, Lampaert managed to catch up to the field, which was reduced to around 100 riders. Headwinds then prevailed on the second part of the connection across the Great Belt, which neutralized all attacks and finally led to the sprint final.
Meanwhile, the corona virus continues to cause nervousness in the field. Ironically, several cases were reported by Lampaert’s QuickStep-AlphaVinyl team. The sporting director Tom Steels was just as corona positive as the press spokesman. Overall, the number of cases in the Belgian team’s staff has risen to seven within a week. Tim Declerq, who had to travel home shortly before the Grand Départ in Copenhagen, was the only driver to have been hit so far.