Fabio Jakobsen wins Tour de France stage, two years after horrific crash; new race leader

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Fabio Jakobsen, a Dutchman who less than two years ago was in a medically induced coma after a race crash, won the second stage of his debut Tour de France in a sprint finish.

Jakobsen edged Belgian Wout van Aert after more than four and a half hours of racing in Denmark, the second of three days that the Tour visits the country before heading into France.

“Today’s incroyable, as we would say in French,” Jakobsen said.

Van Aert, runner-up in each of the first two stages, took over the yellow jersey as race leader by one second over stage one time trial winner Yves Lampaert of Belgium, Jakobsen’s teammate.

Van Aert and Lampaert are not expected to remain among the leaders come the mountain stages. Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, the two-time defending Tour champion, remains in optimal position in third place overall. Pogacar smashed his knuckles into a barrier in a crash Saturday, but said he stayed on his bike and hopes he’s OK.

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In August 2020, Jakobsen suffered a Tour of Poland finish line crash that resulted in him being placed in a medically induced coma. Injuries included brain and lung contusions, skull fractures, a broken nose and the loss of 10 teeth.

He returned last year to win the sprinters’ classification at the Vuelta a Espana. He has 11 victories overall this year and was chosen over 34-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish as Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s sprinter for the Tour.

“A lot of people helped me along the way,” in the comeback, the 25-year-old Jakobsen said. “This is to pay them back so they can see that it was not for nothing.”

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