Cyclist Groenewegen banned nine months over Jakobsen horror crash

Paris (AFP) –

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Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen has been suspended for nine months for causing a crash at the Tour of Poland that left compatriot Fabio Jakobsen in a coma, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said Wednesday.

Groenewegen, 27, "collaborated with the investigation and accepted to serve a period of suspension until 7 May 2021," the UCI said in a statement. He has not ridden since the accident in early August.

Jakobsen spent two days in a coma and required facial reconstruction surgery after he was thrown into and over barriers at the finish of the opening stage of the race in Katowice.

The 24-year-old was racing elbow-to-elbow with Groenewegen at 80 km/h (50mph) before the latter veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival of Deceuninck-Quick Step into the security wall.

Jakobsen somersaulted over the barriers before colliding with a race official.

Groenewegen went on to win the stage but was later disqualified with Jakobsen declared the winner.

Jakobsen was left fighting for his life and underwent a five-hour operation immediately after the accident after sustaining severe injuries to the face.

"I am very grateful that I am still alive," Jakobsen said after his condition improved sufficiently for him to be moved back home to the Netherlands.