Fabio Jakobsen is a professional cyclist and one of the best sprinters in the world, who currently rides for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team. He is best known for his many wins in the Vuelta a Espana, Tour de France, and many other races aswell as being the current European Champion. Famously, he has also recovered with great success from an horrific crash at the 2020 Tour de Pologne which has left him with countless injuries, most specifically in the face and head.
Name: Fabio Jakobsen
Born: 31 August 1996
Birthplace: Gorinchem, Netherlands
Turned Pro: 2015
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Fabio Jakobsen was born on the 31st of August 26 in the Netherlands, on the town of Heukelum more specifically. He is currently one of the most successful sprinters in the peloton and has grown into a headline figure at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team and is a central figure in Patrick Lefevere's circle.
Jakobsen currently has a standing contract with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team into 2023 with a salary of around €600.000. Jakobsen is in a relationship with Delore Stougje, with who he got married with in November 2022.
Jakobsen, a Dutch rider, has developed inside the SEG Racing Academy, one of the world's most reputable under-23 teams which has seen many of it's riders transition into the pro ranks to be successful. There, he has from 2015 to 2017 teamed up with the likes of Koen Bouwman, Nick Schultz, Cees Bol, Jordi Meeus and Edoardo Affini, between several other current World Tour pros. Away from the juniors he began showing his sprinting talents, finishing second in the under-23 national championships in 2015, his best result of the season.
2016 saw him win this title, aswell as taking a stage win at thw ZLM-Roompot Tour and the Slag om Norg, his first win within the elite teams. 2017, his final year with SEG propelled him into a highly-desirable rider. He won the Craft Ster van Zwolle, U23 Eschborn-Frankfurt, Profronde van Noord-Holland and under-23 national championships in the one-day races. In the stage-races, he's won stages at the Tour de Normandie, Tour Alsace, two at the Olympia's Tour but most importantly a sprint win at the Tour de l'Avenir. His talent was obvious, and in 2018 he was brought into (the currently named) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team.
The team has always had a big focus in the sprints, and alongside Elia Viviani, Fernando Gaviria and Álvaro Hodeg, he had a spot as a protected rider - although having a development role alongside Hodeg. He didn't take long to show off his speed however, in the spring taking wins at the Nokere Koerse and Scheldeprijs, aswell as finishing 4th at Dwars door West-Vlaanderen, proving his worth not only as a sprinter, but as a rider who can be present in the spring classics and someone who immediately adapted to World Tour racing. He moved on to win stages at the Tour des Fjords, his first World Tour victory at the BinckBank Tour, a stage at the Okolo Slovenska and two at the World Tour-ranked Tour of Guangxi late in the year to close off a successful debut season at the highest level.
In 2019, his role was bigger within Quick-Step. He proved that by winning his first race day at the Volta ao Algarve. In the spring Jakobsen reconsolidated his title at Scheldeprijs - one of the most sprinter-heavy races - and went on to take stage wins at the Tour of Turkey and Tour of California. In June he won the Elite national championships, putting on the colours of the Netherlands, which he took to his Grand Tour debut where he won two bunch sprints, including the final one in Madrid. 2020 started off perfectly with a win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Volta ao Algarve and GP Jean-Pierre Monseré. After the Covid-19 lockdown he returned to competition straight with a win at the Tour de Pologne, but the results hides a much darker story...
On stage 2 of the 2020 Tour de Pologne Jakobsen started the final sprint for the win alongside Dylan Groenewegen and the two clashed just meters before the finish line. Jakobsen's bike crossed the line first, but the Dutchman crashed into the barriers at high-speed on a relatively downhill finish. It was a worst case scenario, and the mass crash was one of the darkest days in modern cycling history. The news that Jakobsen's injuries were serious were quickly known, and for many hours there was silence on his status. The following day Jakobsen was revealed to be in serious condition but stable after being induced into a coma. His injuries were the following: Brain contusion, hairline fractures in the skull, broken palate, losing ten teeth, losing parts of the upper and lower jawbone, cuts to the face, broken thumb, bruised shoulder, damage to the nerves of the vocal cords and a lung contusion.
But as is the case at times in cycling, the athletes are able to undergo almost miraculous recoveries. It is hard to grasp the work Jakobsen has had to be able to return to the bike three months later. Groenewegen was suspended for nine months over the accidental move, and suffered a broken collbarbone aswell, with several other riders sustaining injuries from the crash. Jakobsen returned to training in November and after many surgeries and a lot of training, he was able to return to competition 8 months later at the 2021 Tour of Turkey. His return was calm and with the intent of getting his feelings back, aswell as helping the team. His recovery however was complete as he sprinted to the win at the Tour de Wallonie in two different occasions in late July.
Jakobsen returned to the Vuelta a Espana later in the year, winning three bunch sprints and the points classification. His success streak was not over, with triumphs at the Gooikse Pijl and Eurométropole Tour later in the year. In 2022 Jakobsen was ready to aim at the very highest level, not stopped or giving any excuses over his past injuries. He entered the season as the main sprinter for Quick-Step and with incredible form, winning two stages at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Volta ao Algarve, aswell as in the cobbled Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne.
He backed that up with a triumph at Paris-Nice, his last win of the spring. His goal was the Tour de France, simply, where he was selected, despite many calls for his teammate Mark Cavendish to have the position. Jakobsen was given the trust from Patrick Lefevere, who was certain of the leading position for the Dutchman, specially after in the run-up to the Tour he won two more stages at the Tour de Hongrie, the Elfstendenronde Brugge and another stage at the Baloise Belgium Tour.
His Tour debut was successful. Although he couldn't keep his sprint dominance, he won the first bunch sprint in Nyborg. Following the Tour he sprinted to success at the European Championships in Munich, to put on the special jersey. He has already made his debut winning with it, at the Belgian Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen in September.
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