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Injured cyclist Jakobsen cleared to return home

Fabio Jakobsen was thrown into and over a barrier at 80 kilometres (50 miles) an hour as he raced elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen in the opening stage of the Tour of Poland in Katowice.

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen's bicycle (behind, L) flies through the air as he collides with compatriot Dylan Groenewegen (on the ground, L) during the opening stage of the Tour of Poland race in Katowice, southern Poland on 5 August 2020. Picture: AFP

PARIS - Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen, who was placed in a medically-induced coma last week after a horrifying crash at the Tour of Poland, has been cleared to return to the Netherlands, his team said Tuesday.

The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider, 23, was left fighting for his life and underwent a five-hour operation immediately after the accident after sustaining severe injuries to the face.

He awoke from the coma on Thursday and doctors initially estimated he could leave in around two weeks' time following a period of rehabilitation.

However, Jakobsen's team said Tuesday his condition had "improved further" and that he would be moved to a hospital in his homeland.

"Fabio Jakobsen's condition is evolving favourably, to the extent that he will be transferred Wednesday to the hospital in Leiden, the Netherlands (LUMC), where further follow-up treatment of his injuries will take place," read a statement.

Jakobsen was thrown into and over a barrier at 80 kilometres (50 miles) an hour as he raced elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen in the opening stage of the Tour of Poland in Katowice.

Groenewegen, from the Jumbo-Visma team, veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his compatriot 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. He has been suspended by his team pending an investigation from the UCI, cycling's governing body.

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