Fabio Jakobsen hails European road title ‘one of the biggest wins of my career’

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Fabio Jakobsen confirmed once again that he has some of the fastest stages in the peloton.

The Dutch speedster fended off a who’s-who of peloton sprinters in Munich to claim the white and blue European champion jersey in what was a track record leading result on Sunday.

“It’s probably one of the biggest wins of my career,” Jakobsen said.

Jakobsen beat top sprinters Arnaud Démare and Tim Merlier to take the podium on Sunday.

It had only been three weeks since the 25-year-old finished gutting a Tour de France rookie with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in what was one of the hottest and toughest editions of memory racing.

“I felt good on the Tour, even though it was tough and I felt like I was in good shape,” Jakobsen said. “I recovered afterwards and that was the next big goal. We knew it was probably going to be a sprint and we focused here.

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A main dish journey around southern Germany attracted a festival of fast race finishers on Sunday.

Giacomo Nizzolo, Sam Bennett, Pascal Ackermann, Elia Viviani and Alexander Kristoff were just a few of the purebred sprinters aiming for success in a rare opportunity for a sprinter to win a special jersey.

“I think the European championship is just one step below the world champion, so it’s good to win. I’m proud of this shirt and I’m going to wear it with honor for a year,” Jakobsen told about her new star-studded top.

It had been just over two years since Jakobsen’s career was threatened by his horror crash in the Tour of Poland.

“Winning at the Vuelta [in 2021] was what tipped the scales in my comeback. I was like ‘well, you’re back to your best now,’” Jakobsen said on Sunday.

“I’m happy that I didn’t lose any power or strength in that crash in Poland, it was such a hard fall.”

Six stages of the Grand Tour and a European title later, Poland seems to be a thing of the past.

When rivals become teammates

Jakobsen earned his 12th victory of the season following a makeshift exit.

Like so many finishers before him, Jakobsen has thrived on the Quick-Step sprint train in recent seasons.

Master leaders like Michael Mørkøv and Bert Van Lerberghe steered the young star to victories at Vuelta a España, Tour de France, Kuurne Brussel Kuurne and many more.

Sunday saw a totally different scenario.

A Dutch team made up of riders like Danny van Poppel, Jos van Emden and Nils Eekhoff saw contributors from all corners of the WorldTour.

Jakobsen hailed his motley array of teammates turned rivals, with Bora-Hansgrohe frontman Van Poppel getting the first nod.

“If you win, it’s always a good sprint, but I have to start with the whole team. We all belong to separate business teams and we tried to create a real team here, and I think we succeeded,” Jakobsen said.

“They all did a perfect job and I’m very proud of them, especially Danny van Poppel. He put me in the wheel of Merlier and I was able to go in his wake and push the power and pick up speed, and I’m super happy that I was able to win.

Van Poppel is more used to working for his sprinter Sam Bennett. The Irishman finished fifth on Sunday, just one place behind his mate Bora-Hansgrohe Van Poppel.

“Jakobsen and I have been in the room together. There we agreed on some things because it takes some time to get used to each other for a sprint,” said Van Poppel. Wielerflits.

“For example, Sam Bennett stays in my wheel, while Fabio chooses his own path, after which we find ourselves closer to the last line. I’ve already done some good lead-outs this year, that’s got you a lot of praise. For me, it’s as good as a victory.

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