Fabio Jakobsen: Mark Cavendish and I both deserve to be at the Tour de France

'If you think it's a miracle, then yes,' Jakobsen said of his Tour de France stage win.

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“Pressure creates diamonds,” was the line from Fabio Jakobsen when the inevitable question came as to how he was feeling in the build-up to his debut Tour de France.

It was the Dutchman’s presence, of course, that thwarted the winner of 34 Tour stages from being at another Grand Départ and his attempts to go one clear of his joint record with Eddy Merckx.

The Cav factor intertwined with Jakobsen’s magnificent comeback from his horrifying crash where he had to “learn again how to be a person, then a bike rider then a top sprinter” is a story that the attendant Netflix cameras at the race will have gobbled up.

“I always cope well with pressure, I like to perform under pressure,” Jakobsen said in his winner’s press conference. “I know the team believes in me, my family believes in me, I believe in myself. I trained a lot, I gave up a lot for this.”

“To get back to the story of Cavendish,” he continued. “I think we both deserve to be here. He’s been a huge example to me for the past 15 years, he’s a legend. I’m just grateful that I could take this spot in the team. For some people, take his spot. But I’m pretty sure he enjoyed my win at home. It’s just special that I get the chance to sprint for the win here.”

Patrick Lefevere was only ever going to bring one sprinter, he reminded CyclingTips this morning before the stage, but Jakobsen’s opinion is that both he and the Manxman should have made the eight-man squad.

“Before the crash, I was hoping one day to go to the Tour,” Jakobsen said of finally arriving at the day he’d long dreamed about. “My debut was probably postponed. This year it was between me and Cav, which was normal. I think we both deserved to be here.”

“If you think it’s a miracle then yes,” Jakobsen said of this comeback, the second in two years for Quick-Step AlphaVinyl at the Tour de France after Mark Cavendish rose from the ashes in 2021. “I think for sure it’s a special story. It’s almost a fairytale. I’m super grateful to even be here, that I get the chance. There are other examples of riders that crash that don’t get a chance to even make it back as a person or as a bike rider.”

“The circle is made now,” he said, this particular chapter of his life and career complete. “From being a talent, hopefully going to the Tour to having this comeback. I think we can say I am one of the best sprinters in the world and today I was one of the fastest in the world…probably.”

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.