One of the world's greatest ever cyclists suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs in a horror crash which left him in the ICU
- Cyclist Mark Cavendish suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs in horrific crash on Sunday.
- The Brit was competing at the Six Days of Ghent when he collided with another rider at high speed.
Mark Cavendish suffered a collapsed lung and two broken ribs in a horrific crash at the Six Days of Ghent track event on Sunday.
The British rider, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest sprint cyclists of all-time, was competing in the madison event at the Belgian velodrome when Olympic champion Lasse Norman Hansen crashed directly in front of him after hitting a patch of water on the track.
Cavendish was unable to avoid riding into the Dane's bike, sending him crashing to the floor. He sustained his injuries as he fell.
—sporza (@sporza) November 21, 2021
The 36-year-old spent the night in the intensive care unit of a Belgian hospital after leaving the Ghent velodrome on a stretcher.
"Following his crash at the Ghent Six Day, Mark Cavendish was taken to the Ghent University Hospital where he was kept overnight," a statement from his Deceuninck-Quick-Step team said.
"Examinations showed that Mark has suffered two broken ribs on his left side and has a small pneumothorax, both of which have been treated with medication and he has been kept in the hospital for observation.
"It is expected that Mark will be discharged either later today or tomorrow morning, and will then undergo a period of recuperation. Everybody at Deceuninck-QuickStep wishes Mark a speedy recovery."
Cavendish posted on social media on Monday night to say he had been "overwhelmed" with the messages of support he has received.
"Six Days of Ghent didn't end the way we'd have preferred," he said. "Some water on the track, a high speed crash and a few barrel rolls later and I'm being treated for some broken ribs and a pneumothorax [the medical term for a collapsed lung].
"In a bit of pain but a couple of nights with the incredible staff here at Ghent University Hospital should sort me out."
—Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) November 22, 2021
Cavendish has crashed at the Six Days of Ghent before. In 2019, he slid out while competing in a team time-trial, a race that lasts just nine seconds.
In an interview with The Times of England prior to Sunday's crash, Cavendish had described racing on Ghent's short and steep 166-meter velodrome as like being on a "wall of death."
"A 166-meter track is like a wall of death with the G-forces," he said. "Two years ago I was doing a flying lap and crashed on the opening night, high-speed. And now I am petrified of it."
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