Dylan Groenewegen received death threats after Fabio Jakobsen crash
Groenewegen received death threats after the crash in the Tour of Poland where Fabio Jakobsen was seriously injured. A noose was sent to his house. The threats were so serious that the police provided surveillance on his family home
The Jumbo-Visma sprinter speaked for the first time this week about the period after the terrible accident.
“There were such concrete and serious threats that we called the police a few days after the crash,” says Groenewegen. “The following days and weeks the police guarded our door. We could no longer spontaneously leave the house. If I wanted to go outside for a moment, there was an officer by my side so that nothing could happen.
“We received handwritten letters in the mail, which even included a noose to hang our little child. When you read that message and see that piece of rope, you are shocked. That was the deciding factor for me that it could not continue like this.”
“I went to the police and reported it. The police immediately took action after seeing those letters. That does reflect the seriousness of those threats. Of course that affects you. What happened here? How is this possible? What sick world do we live in? The most crazy things go through your head. Getting out of bed in the morning was quite a challenge at the time.”
“In the beginning you really have a shock in your body. We have an alarm on our house and it was shut down exactly during that period. Then you get the craziest things in your head. For example, we also had a false alarm a few times, then you get scared. While I just forgot to turn off the alarm in the morning.”
“I also remember that we had dinner with my parents one evening. On the way a car drove behind us. It started to signal and drove diagonally behind us. Eventually he overtook us on a road where that was actually impossible. Panic then sets in. Moments later he just turns right and there is nothing wrong. You start to imagine things that are not there at all. ”
Dutch sprinter to return to racing after serving nine-month suspension
Groenewegen says he will need to reacquaint himself with contesting sprints again, “We talked about that well. A lot has happened and we will take that into account when I return,” he said.
“Of course I hope to be able to sprint for victories again, but the most important thing is that I can find my place in the peloton again. It doesn’t feel good that I deviated from my line. I also wonder how this was possible.
“I certainly blame myself for that. You try to reconstruct what you have thought in full sprint. You can look at it so often, it is always very shocking to see. The impact of the fall is enormous, especially due to the high speed of more than eighty kilometers per hour. It happened unconsciously and I feel very sorry about that.”
Groenewegen will be at the Tour of Hungary on May 12-16, followed by the Tour of Norway on 19-24 May .In June, he will race Rund um Köln and the ZLM Tour before the Dutch national road race championships.
From then on it's planned he'll be at the Tour of Wallonia, Tour of Denmark, and the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg.
Groenewegen’s most high-profile race of the year will be at the BinckBank Tour in September, before he closes out his season with Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and the Tour of Guangxi.