Fabio Jakobsen is back in business

Dutch star Fabio Jakobsen won his first race for DSM-Firmenich-PostNL after he transferred from Soudal-Quick Step in Antalya at the end of stage 1 in the Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye. It was a bunch sprint finish in which Sacha Weemaes (Bingoal WB) and Simon Dehairs (Alpecin-Deceuninck) rounded out the podium.

After 10km of racing, 7 riders took off: Marce Camprubi (Q36.5), Jambaljamts Sainbayar (Burgos BH), Filippo Ridolfo (Novo Nordisk), Julian Borresch (Rembe), Emre Yuca (Sakarya BB), Aljaz Turk (Adria Mobil) and Tomasz Budzinski (Mazowscze Serce Polski). They got an advantage of two and half minutes before Bora-Hansgrohe and DSM-Firmenich-PostNL set the pace of the peloton. Sainbayar won the intermediate sprint at km 49. Yuca and Budzinski dropped off whereas Michal Pomorski (Mazowscze Serce Polski) and Mehmet Kanat (Spor Toto) escaped from the peloton. Pomorski was the only one able to bridge the gap and he did so before he could contest and win the only KOM sprint of the day, at km 91, which awarded him the first red jersey of the 2024 TUR as he denied this honour to breakaway artist Sainbayar.

The bunch was all together again just before the Treasures of Türkiye Sprint at km 115, where Vinzent Dorn (BikeAid) took the top prize ahead of Paul Wright (Rembe) and Ramzan Yilmaz (Adria Mobil). Astana moved up to the first positions of the bunch towards the end in order to set up the final sprint for Mark Cavendish and the two hot favourites, Jakobsen and Sam Welsford, both lost their lead out man, however the Dutchman managed to make his move from the wheels of Dehairs and Jensen Plowright from Alpecin-Deceuninck.

It was a comfortable victory that Jakobsen welcomed for his confidence ahead of the Giro d’Italia starting in Turin on May 4.

Fabio Jakobsen declared in the press conference:

“It feels good to be back and win at the Tour of Türkiye. A win always feels good, but I changed teams from Soudal-Quick Step to DSM-Firmenich-PostNL and at the beginning of the season, we’ve been getting used to each other with my new team-mates. I was close to winning a few times in the start of the season but I was never on the top step. It’s nice to win here as we start the 2nd part of the season. We have worked well and very hard for this.

A win is always necessary leading up to big goals like the Giro d’Italia coming soon. Moreover, I’m proud of how we have worked together as a team today. Cycling is a team sport. My team-mates put me in a winning position. They dropped me off where I had to be and I’m happy to finish it off for them. It’s a good start to the TUR, and there are more sprints to come, I’ve counted three more at least. It’s also a good preparation for the Giro. 

I love to come here. In 2017, I first came with my wife for a small holiday, also on the Antalya coast. People are nice and friendly here. This is a good race. I came back in 2019 and I managed to win a sprint against Mark Cavendish and Sam Bennett who were by then the world’s top sprinters. It was a proper win that counts. Then I came back for my first race after my crash in Poland, so I’ll always remember this. It’s a good race for making a come-back. I was racing in the same team with Cavendish three years ago and we won 3 sprints with him. I’m really happy to be back here. I love racing in Türkiye.”

King of the Mountains Michal Pomorski said: “Originally my team-mate Tomasz Budzinski was in the break but unfortunately he had a flat tyre so we had to improvise. I made the quick decision to jump across. It worked very well and quickly. I felt good and I managed to get the first place on the sprint of the KOM. We’re very happy. It’s a big thing to have a distinctive jersey on such a big race. I can be very proud of myself and the team today.”

Treasures of Türkiye classification leader Vinzent Dorn said: “The group came back together just before the sprint. I was gambling on that. There were a few guys who wanted to sprint for the white jersey. I went very early, at 150 metres, and tried to surprise them. In the end, I had very good legs for that. I was sick these last few days. I first thought it would be difficult for me to just survive today. I’m really happy to achieve this. It’s really important to have a distinctive jersey and show the colours of the team. But we also have a rider in fifth place [Frenchman Léo Bouvier], which is really good in this field with many top sprinters so we can be really happy with our performance today. I understand this jersey highlights the beauties of Türkiye. It’s my first time here but I know it’s a country rich of history, culture, tradition and beautiful old buildings. We don’t have the time to see all of this but I’ll watch the highlights to admire them.”