After fairy tale in Nyborg, Jakobsen mainly thinks of everyone who has supported him | NOW

Fabio Jakobsen wrote the perfect ending to his special comeback story on Saturday. After his emotional victory in the second stage of the Tour de France, the 25-year-old Dutchman mainly thought of all the people who have made it possible for him to sprint for victories again.

696 days after sustaining life-threatening injuries in the Tour of Poland, a cheering Jakobsen is surrounded by a battery of cameras on a street in Nyborg, Denmark. “Ride winner in the Tour,” he says. “Who would have thought that two years ago?”

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sprinter has a string of obligations ahead of him, but for now, he’s in no rush to head for the podium. First, he takes the time to hug his teammates one by one.

“In the months after my crash in Poland I already had trouble walking,” says Jakobsen a little later at his press conference. “Yet my teammates have never lost faith in me. They have always believed in me. ‘It will take time,’ they all told me. ‘But we will support you.'”

“This team is like a second family to me. That’s why it was such a special moment to celebrate this victory with them. In the hotel I go through all the rooms to thank them.”

Fabio Jakobsen celebrates his stage victory with his teammates.

Fabio Jakobsen celebrates his stage victory with his teammates.

Fabio Jakobsen celebrates his stage victory with his teammates.

Photo: AFP

Jakobsen especially grateful after first Tour victory

Gratitude is the predominant emotion for Jakobsen, when he strikes in the second stage of his first Tour. He is grateful for his family and friends, who cared for him after his fall and took him to and from the hospital so often. He is grateful for the doctors, who first helped him to become human again and then to return to being a top sprinter, and for his 85-year-old osteopath Cor, the man who got his muscles flexible and at the level of a top athlete.

“They’re the reason I’m here. I didn’t do this myself,” says Jakobsen. “I started cycling with my father and mother fifteen years ago. My father still sometimes rides the scooter to help me with training, just like my father-in-law.”

“A few days ago I trained behind the scooter of my teammate Michael Mørkøv’s father-in-law. As a sprinter I know that I am nothing without support. That is why this victory is also for all those people who helped me.”

Competitor Van Aert has a lot of respect for Jakobsen

Jakobsen’s teammates, who have witnessed his fall and recovery up close, enjoy Nyborg as if they had won themselves. “Fabio is such a great guy,” says Mørkøv. “I think it’s fantastic that he won a Tour stage, especially after what happened in Poland.”

Yves Lampaert, who won the opening time trial on Friday, calls it a pleasure to work with Jakobsen. “Fabio has come this far. The steps he has taken in recent months are incredible.”

Even the man who was narrowly defeated by Jakobsen wishes him the victory wholeheartedly. “I can only have a lot of respect for Fabio,” says Wout van Aert. “I can still remember the first moments after his terrible crash. It touched everyone in the cycling family. We all waited with fear for him to recover. His progress since his return is of course unbelievable.”

Or is it even a miracle? Jakobsen thinks about the question for a moment, then says, “It’s a special story anyway, almost a fairy tale. I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life.”

You can find all the latest news and backgrounds in our Tour de France file