Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) sprinted to a fifth sprint victory at the Tour de France in Sønderborg on stage 3 of the 2022 Tour de France, after stage 2 winner Fabio Jakobsen found himself boxed in and unable to sprint.
Jakobsen, in his Tour debut, inspired many with his victory yesterday, which marked an exceptional return to form from his near-fatal injuries from the Tour of Poland in 2020 – but he struggled to celebrate for his Dutch compatriot, who served a 9- month ban for causing the crash.
“Yeah, I think he shows that he’s a good sprinter,” Jakobsen said after the finish. “I have to say that before the crash I admired his track record and I kind of looked up to him a bit.
“But now that is completely gone after the crash because of the mistake he made. I think that’s normal.”
The crash at the Tour of Poland resulted in Jakobsen being placed in an induced coma, and he then underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries to facial injuries – including severe damage to his jaw and teeth.
“So it’s nice for him to win but it doesn’t really affect me,” Jakobsen added.
Jakobsen lamented the finish that saw him unable to compete for the sprint win.
“I think the team until the last corner did a perfect job,” he said. “All the guys pulled very hard – I was quite easy on the wheels. But then I think in the last corner we should have stayed a bit more on the right with Florian [Sénéchal] so nobody could pass.”
“I chose to remain calm – hope that Michael Mørkøv would swing out. Unfortunately he thought I was on the wheel. I was not. I think there I lost my chance to sprint for the win because I was just too far back. This is also sprinting but you can understand that I’m a little bit frustrated.”
The result was clearly a disappointment for the Belgian team, who would have enjoyed securing a second win in a row after the contentious selection of Jakobsen over Mark Cavendish as star sprinter.
The team expressed elsewhere that the train was mixed up after the final corner – Yves Lampaert could also be heard offering feedback to Mattia Cattaneo by the team bus, on his position in the final kilometers of the race.
Jakobsen felt his form was good, and remains confident that he will be able to contest for another sprint win at this year’s Tour.
“I know I’ve got it in my legs, the speed is there,” he said. “I just need to be able to get out and then go for the line.”