Jakobsen beats elite clique for European title

Two years after a near fatal cycling crash Fabio Jakobsen continued to make up for lost time on Sunday when he won an elite sprint for the line at the European road race championships.

Winner of a stage at the Tour de France in July Jakobsen jumped out of Belgian Tim Merlier’s slipstream to clinch victory right at the line, while Frenchman Arnaud Demare also nipped past Merlier to grab second.

“I’m delighted to be European champion,” said the bulky Dutchman who lost all his teeth in a crash at the Tour of Poland in 2020.

The race featured most of the World Tour elite with only Wout van Aert missing from the line up.

The Italian team had seemed well positioned to get Elia Viviani in the mix, but he could only manage seventh place.

The 25-year-old Jakobsen came close to ending his career in Poland but has recovered to become one the most feared sprinters in road cycling and said after winning on his first appearance Tour in July “It’s like a second life”.

“It’s been a long road for me to get here, if only you knew,” said Jakobsen, who underwent five hours of surgery the day he crashed over barriers and hit a metal post head on.

The Quick Step rider was selected for the Tour in June ahead of British great Mark Cavendish a year after claiming the Vuelta a Espana sprint points green jersey taking three wins along the way.

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