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Cycling: Groenewegen gets nine-month suspension for crash with Jakobsen

(Reuters) - The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Wednesday suspended Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen for nine months for causing a crash that resulted in compatriot Fabio Jakobsen being placed in a medically induced coma in August.

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 230-km Stage 7 from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saone - July 12, 2019 - Team Jumbo-Visma rider Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands celebrates winning the stage. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Groenewegen, who rides for the Jumbo–Visma team, was jostling for position with Jakobsen in the final metres of the first stage of the Tour of Poland when the pair came together.

Jakobsen, 24, crashed into the barriers and collided with a race official. He was taken to hospital and underwent facial surgery while Groenewegen was disqualified.

“The UCI referred (to its disciplinary commission) the case against the rider, who acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation of UCI regulations,” cycling’s governing body said in a statement.

“The rider collaborated with the investigation and accepted to serve a period of suspension until May 7, 2021, corresponding to a period of nine months from the date of the incident.”

Jumbo–Visma said they were relieved that there is now perspective and clarity.

“It was a crash where the severity of the consequences was unfathomable. Now that the disciplinary case has been concluded, we can start looking forward again. We will do that together with Dylan,” the team said in a statement.

Groenewegen said the crash would “forever be a black page in my career.”

“During the sprint I deviated from my line. I’m sorry, because I want to be a fair sprinter,” he said.

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

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra

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