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Fabio Jakobsen may be sitting second overall in the Tour de France’s points classification, but he is relying more on hope than optimism to keep challenging for the green jersey.
The Dutch sprinter won stage 2 of the Tour de France and has taken fifth, ninth, and 13th on others. He also picked up points in intermediate sprints along the way.
However, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) has been far more proficient at collecting points. He triumphed on stages four and eight and was second on the first three stages. He has also got points in the intermediate sprints, including netting the maximum possible by jumping into the break on Sunday’s stage 9.
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Starting with Tuesday’s stage 10, he is on 284 points. Jakobsen is on 149. Because of that, the latter knows that the odds are against him being in the maillot vert in Paris.
“Wout is doing his best ever. It will be difficult to beat him in the battle for green,” Jakobsen admitted, according to HLN.be. “But a small chance is also a chance. You never know.”
Jakobsen has worn green in his debut Tour, but never as the actual leader of the classification. He sported it on stages 3 to 6 but it was on loan from Van Aert, who was wearing the yellow jersey at the time.
Even if the Belgian stopped gathering points today, Jakobsen faces another threat. The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider is just 10 points ahead of race leader Tadej Pogačar, who has notched up two stages and been prominent throughout the race.
With many mountain stages ahead, Pogačar has plenty of opportunities to hoover up more points. Jakobsen, on the other hand, accepts that he is facing a battle for survival on higher ground.
“The other six teammates will often be with me,” he said, predicting he would need to be shepherded over the mountains.
“With the condition I’ve been in the past few days, I have to get myself dragged over the mountains,” he said. “I do need my teammates. They are hugely important. If they can’t win themselves, they’d better stay with me. It will often happen that the other six sit with me and can thus divide the workload.”
He’s most worried about Thursday’s stage 12, one which could put a lot of riders under pressure. “I fear the stage with the arrival at Alpe d’Huez. That is a short stage, but we have to climb three long climbs.
“The time limit will be tight. I hope for a good day.”