Fabio Jakobsen has put a marker on the board for his recovery from a huge Tour de Pologne crash by winning his first race since the incident.
The Deceuninck-Quickstep rider suffered horrific injuries that required extensive surgery after colliding with fencing in Poland in 2020 after nudge from Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).
On Wednesday he defeated Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Amaury Capiot (Arkaa-Samsic) on stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie.
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After the race, Jakobsen said: "I think it means the end of my rehabilitation. I guess I can say I'm back," Jakobsen said on the podium.
"I look forward to winning more stages. For today, cheers."
Jakobsen suffered extensive injuries, including a head injury, soft palate and jaw damage, and most of his teeth were removed.
His first runout in competitive action was in April at the Tour of Turkey after taking part in a training camp in December last year. He was also involved in the Volta ao Algarve and Criterium du Dauphine.
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"It’s been quite a long comeback and to stand here today after that crash is an emotional moment for me, especially as my family is also here and they could see me do what I love so much and take the victory,” continued Jakobsen.
"These last couple of months have been a process where I made step after step, faced some setbacks at times, but continued fighting and believing in myself. I had already won several times before today, but being able to sprint and get the win is a big relief for me.
"I need to thank a lot of people: my girlfriend, my family, the doctors and the team – without them it wouldn’t have been possible. This is also their victory. I am so happy I am in this team and will be part of it in the future. Together we worked on my comeback and it panned out well."
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