Dylan Groenewegen is handed nine-month ban by UCI following Tour of Poland crash

Dylan Groenewegen deviated from his sprinting  line at the end of the opening stage at the Tour of Poland


The International Cycling Union, cycling’s world governing body, has come under fire after handing Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen a nine-month suspension for causing the collision with compatriot Fabio Jakobsen during the Tour of Poland in August.

Jakobsen was placed in a medically induced coma for two days after the crash at the finish line in Katowice, while Groenewegen was disqualified from the race.

The UCI issued a statement saying that the rider had “acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation of the UCI Regulations”, adding that his suspension would run until May 7, 2021.

However, it prompted a backlash from riders and pundits who felt the UCI was refusing to take any responsibility itself for an unsafe downhill sprint finish.

“Just a reminder to everybody going nuts on the @UCI_cycling — they’ve always been like this,” wrote retired rider David Millar on Twitter, calling out UCI president David Lappartient. “@DLappartient doesn’t really care about pro cycling. He wants a job at the @Olympics — It’s what they do. #f—theioc and the UCI while we’re at it.”

Groenwegen, meanwhile, once again apologised to Jakobsen in a post on Instagram on Wednesday morning. "The crash in the first stage of the Tour of Poland will forever be a black page in my career," he sad. "During the sprint I deviated from my line. I am sorry, because I want to be a fair sprinter.

"The consequences were very unfortunate and serious. I am very aware of that and I hope this has been a wise lesson for every sprinter. I follow the news of Fabio’s recovery very closely. I can only hope that one day he will return completely.

"Closing the disciplinary matter creates clarity. That gives me the opportunity to look ahead again. I am happy about that, even though May 7th is still far away. I am happy with the support I get from Team Jumbo-Visma, my family and friends. Together we will work towards that day both mentally and physically."

British rider Lizzy Banks, a double Giro Rosa stage winner and podium finisher at GP de Plouay in August, has signed a one-year contract with Ceratizit WNT for 2021. Banks had been left without a team after Équipe Paule Ka folded suddenly last month.