Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen abandons Tour de France to recover from an early crash

Netherlands' Fabio Jakobsen, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, celebrates on the podium after the fifth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 163 kilometers (101 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Laruns, France, Wednesday, July 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

ROANNE, France — Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen has left the Tour de France ahead of Thursday’s 12th stage, saying it was impossible for him to reach Paris following an early crash in cycling’s biggest race.

The European champion from the Soudal-QuickStep team hit the ground at high speed during the fourth stage of the three-week race and has since struggled to recover. He decided it was time to stop ahead of a difficult mid-mountain stage that will be followed by three grueling treks in the Jura and the Alps.

The Tour ends on July 23 in Paris.

“Due to my stage-four crash, and after discussions with the team, we decided it’s better for me to stop my Tour de France journey here,” Jakobsen said. “At this point it seems impossible for me to get to Paris, as I am not recovering, and my body is not healing from the crash.”

Jakobsen had started the Tour with the ambition of adding more sprints to his tally after winning a stage last year.

“I’m very sad to leave the Grande Boucle,” he said. “I will now take some time to recover and clear my head, and hopefully be back at my best later this season.”

Jakobsen was second to last in the general classification, lagging more than 2 hours, 45 minutes behind race leader Jonas Vingegaard.

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