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Cycling

Cyclist gets 9-month ban for crash that left rival in coma

Cyclist Dylan Groenewegen was banned from racing for nine months on Wednesday for causing a sprint-finish crash that left a rival in a coma and with severe facial injuries.

Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen says 'crash will forever be a black page in my career'

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen's bicycle (left, back) flies through the air as he collides with compatriot Dylan Groenewegen (Left, forward) during the opening stage of the Tour of Poland race in Katowice, back in August. (Szymon Gruchalski/Forum/AFP via Getty Images)

Cyclist Dylan Groenewegen was banned from racing for nine months on Wednesday for causing a sprint-finish crash that left a rival in a coma and with severe facial injuries.

The International Cycling Union said its disciplinary panel ruled Groenewegen cannot compete again until May 7. He will miss the spring season of one-day classic races plus week-long races including Paris-Nice, where he has won stages in previous seasons.


"The crash in the first stage of the Tour of Poland will forever be a black page in my career," the Dutch rider said in a statement published by his Jumbo-Visma team.

Groenewegen, who has four Tour de France stage wins in his career, veered right in a sprint to the finish line on Aug. 5, forcing Fabio Jakobsen to crash into roadside barriers.

Jakobsen was awarded the stage win after Groenewegen was disqualified. He was treated in a medically induced coma and left needing reconstructive surgery on his face and jaw.

The UCI said Groenewegen "acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation" of race rules.

"I hope this has been a wise lesson for every sprinter," Groenewegen said. "I follow the news of Fabio's recovery very closely. I can only hope that one day he will return completely."

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