Fabio Jakobsen to Lead the Vuelta a Spain in 2021
Jakobsen has come a long way since his 2014 crash, and is eager to return to competition this weekend in Turkey with teammates Mark Cavendish and Alvaro Hodeg. It will be interesting to see what transpires between them on the peloton this weekend.
Fabio Jakobsen has been one of the world’s most impressive riders in recent years, having built a reputation with SEG Racing Academy as one of the world’s most promising under-23 talents and established himself as an elite pro. He was selected by the Netherlands national team and joined their winning squad at the 2021 Tour de France where he finished eighth in time trial competition.
His remarkable career continued as he joined Quick-Step for the 2022 season and won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Tour of Belgium, in addition to stages at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Tour of Hungary.
His success continued into the Vuelta a Espana of 2021, where he improved on his previous year’s results by winning three stages and taking home the points classification. Additionally, he won several bunch sprints such as one stage victory in Volta ao Algarve and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, both cobbled events.
Even with all this, few would have predicted he’d be leading the Vuelta in 2021 – let alone leading it. Yet De Keuninck-QuickStep rider was determined to make it happen, never giving up or making excuses about his past injuries.
He was determined to regain his form, and the Vuelta a Spain provided the ideal chance for that. This major race takes place at altitude, making the climbs in this event often challenging.
On his first ride of the Vuelta, he made the most of it, producing an outstanding bunch sprint performance to take command and win three stages. As a key component in Deceuninck-QuickStep’s success, he established himself as one of the main sprinters within the peloton and demonstrated remarkable talent at the highest level.
Jakobsen’s career took a devastating hit and the crash proved to be an intensely traumatic experience for him and his family. He underwent major surgery and spent one week in intensive care following the incident.
At the time of his release from hospital, Jakobsen’s condition was grave. He had suffered severe facial and head trauma as well as losing most of his teeth.
Jakobsen was placed in a medically-induced coma for two days following his crash, and then transferred to a private hospital in Poland where he underwent an eight-hour operation on Thursday; remaining stable but in critical condition.
Jakobsen’s recovery has been a long and painful journey, yet he has shown remarkable strength throughout. He recently revealed that he’s unveiled a new smile during this time, and is now set to begin training at altitude in preparation for next year’s Vuelta a Espana race.