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Mark Cavendish to remain in hospital for 'a couple of nights' after Ghent Six crash

Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse make a change during the Ghent Six
Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse make a change during the Ghent Six (Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has expressed thanks to his supporters and to the staff at Ghent University Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries that were sustained in a serious crash at the Ghent Six on Sunday. The British sprinter is recovering from two broken ribs and a collapsed lung and said that he will remain in hospital for a 'couple of nights'.

"Just want to say how overwhelmed & thankful I am for all the support and well-wishes. So @zesdaagseGent didn’t end the way we’d have preferred, I think it’s fair to say 😅," Cavendish wrote in a post on Twitter Monday.

"Some water on the track, a high speed crash and a few barrel rolls later, I’m being treated for some broken ribs & a pneumothorax. In a bit of pain, but a couple of nights with the incredible staff here at Ghent by University Hospital @uzgent should sort me out. 🙏🙏🙏"

Cavendish had initially passed medical tests shortly after the crash but was taken to Ghent University Hospital where full medical checks revealed the extent of his injuries to include two broken ribs on his left side and a small pneumothorax. He spent Sunday night in the ICU for observation. 

In a statement from Deceuninck-QuickStep, the team expected that Cavendish would be discharged from hospital on Monday or Tuesday, with Cavendish later confirming that he will remain in hospital for at least an additional night before undergoing a period of recuperation.

Cavendish was racing with Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Iljo Keisse when he crashed early in the Madison, the final event of the Ghent Six on Sunday. Lasse Norman Hansen also crashed but was able to continue racing when the event resumed after a 40-minute delay while repairs were made to the track. 

Cavendish stood after the crash and gave a reassuring wave to spectators, however he was then taken from the track on a stretcher and transported to hospital. His wife, Peta Todd, updated fans with a post on social media regarding Cavendish's condition on Sunday night.

"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," Todd wrote.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.