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The first stage of the Tour of Poland ended in a horror crash on Wednesday which saw Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen thrown over a barrier at 80km/h while others crumbled to the ground in a desperate attempt to avoid a pile-up.
Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice.
However, Jakobsen came off worst, falling into and over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall.
"Our rider @FabioJakobsen is being tended to by the doctors after his crash in #TDP20," tweeted his team.
The incident comes a year to the day after the death of 22-year-old Belgian sprinter Bjorg Lambrecht, who died after falling and hitting a concrete structure in the 2019 Tour of Poland.
"We don't act that way, I just met the judges, he (Groenewegen) will surely be disqualified and we will see if it ends there," tour organiser Czeslaw Lang told Polish television TVP Sport.
"It was an unfair fight and one of the riders suffered tremendously, two more and then a judge suffered as well. The other runners are pretty much ok."
Groenewegen went on to win the stage.
Other riders who crashed included Marc Sarreau of Groupama-FDJ as competitors became entangled in a desperate bid to avoid each other as well as the debris from the destroyed barriers.
"Marc Sarreau is conscious and on his way to the hospital where he will go for X-rays, the team doctor is with him. We will provide you with further news later tonight," tweeted the team.
The drama came at the end of the first stage, raced over 198km from Chorzow to Katowice in southern Poland.