Mark Cavendish suffers two broken ribs and collapsed lung in Ghent Six crash

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Mark Cavendish being tended to by his team and first aid staff after the Ghent Six crash (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mark Cavendish spent Sunday night in the ICU of a Belgian hospital after a serious crash during the final event of Ghent Six on Sunday with the rider later confirmed to have suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

According to his QuickStep team, Cavendish had passed medical tests shortly after the incident however he was taken to hospital where full medical checks were carried out.

"Following his crash at the Ghent Six Day, Mark Cavendish was taken to the Ghent University Hospital where he was kept overnight," his team said in a statement sent to Cyclingnews.

"Examinations showed that Mark has suffered two broken ribs on this 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-Quick-Step wishes Mark a speedy recovery."

Late on Sunday night, Cavendish's wife took to Twitter to update fans and the media regarding her husband's condition. 

"Thank you for all the messages. Mark is spending the night in ICU following today's crash. Thank you to all the medical staff that helped us today and also to the staff that sprung into action to help me and the kids," Peta Todd posted.

Cavendish, who was racing in a team with Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Iljo Keisse in the six-day event, wasn’t the only one to come down with Lasse Norman Hansen also hitting the boards during the Madison but he was able to resume racing when the event resumed after a 40-minute delay. 

Cavendish stood after the crash and gave a reassuring wave to spectators, however was then taken from the track on a stretcher and transported to hospital. The team's medical team were quickly on the scene to help their rider. Iljo Keisse spoke to Het Nieuwsblad directly after the crash.

“It was very emotional for a while. We're not going to go too far back in time, but you know what's already happened here. It's traumatic for all of us, especially Mark's kids who were there."

“Mark talked about his ribs, where he had a big bruise,” Keisse said. "He was also worried about his thigh." 

Entering the final day of racing Cavendish and partner Keisse were in fourth place. The Belgian held onto that final position in the final race and on the overall, finishing alone when racing resumed.

Jasper De Buyst told Sporza after the accident that he had noticed some water the lap before, running over it at a slower speed before everything went wrong in the next lap. Gerben Thijssen slipped, then Kenny DeKetele who was on his wheel swerved abruptly and Hansen went down. Cavendish then crashed as well, unable to avoid the Danish rider.

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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.