Jakobsen to have two operations to rebuild his face

Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-Quick-Step.
Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-Quick-Step.
Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen, who smashed his head in a life-threatening crash at the Tour of Poland at the beginning of August, said on Thursday that he will have facial reconstruction surgery.

"On October 8, I will undergo a second surgery to reconstruct my face/mouth," wrote the Deceuninck Quick-Step rider on Instagram in his first post since his crash on August 5.

"The surgery involves placing bone, taken from my pelvic crest, in my upper and lower jaw, because a lot of bone is missing there. This bone will have to heal for several months."

"After that, another surgery will take place to put implants in my jaw so that I can get new teeth, as I lost them during my crash."

Jakobsen was thrown into and over a barrier at 80 kilometres an hour (50mph) as he raced elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen on the opening stage in Katowice.

He was put in an induced coma and underwent surgery in Poland before recovering sufficiently to return home.

On August 18, he said "I am very grateful that I am still alive" in a statement posted on his team's web site.

Jakobsen's Instagram post is accompanied by a picture of him from the back looking at a banner of encouragement pulled by a plane with the words "Get well soon, Forza Fabio".

"The past 2 months have been dominated by my recovery after my crash," he wrote. "I had to recover from my brain contusion and other bruises/injuries for a long time. The wounds/scars on my face are healing up well."

He said the operations would be in Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Groenewegen of Jumbo Visma, who hasn't ridden since the accident either, won't compete again until the end of the season, team sports director Arthur van Dongen said on Tuesday.

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