Dylan Groenewegen deviated from his sprinting line at the end of the opening stage at the Tour of Poland
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
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.