British cyclist Mark Cavendish broke two ribs and suffered a “small collapsed lung” during a crash at a track event in Belgium, his team has revealed.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step said in a statement that Cavendish spent Sunday night in the Ghent University Hospital following the incident at the Ghent Six Day.
“Examinations showed that Mark has suffered two broken ribs on his left side and has a small pneumothorax (collapsed lung), both of which have been treated with medication and he has been kept in the hospital for observation,” the team said.
“It is expected that Mark will be discharged either later today or tomorrow morning, and will then undergo a period of recuperation.”
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) November 22, 2021
The 36-year-old Cavendish has enjoyed a revival this season, equalling Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 Tour de France stage wins in July.
Cavendish, who was racing in the event alongside teammate Iljo Keisse, was one of several riders to crash in the final race.
He stood and waved to spectators following the incident, but was then put on a stretcher and taken to hospital.
His wife Peta Todd posted on Twitter: “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.”
Thank you for all the messages. Mark is spending the night in ICU following todays crash. Thank you to all the medical staff that helped us today and also to the @deceuninck_qst staff that sprung into action to help me and the kids. ❤️
— Peta Cavendish (@petatodd) November 21, 2021
In an interview with The Times before the crash, Cavendish had described racing on Ghent’s 166-metre velodrome, shorter and steeper than the Olympic standard 250 metres, as like being on a “wall of death”, admitting he was “petrified of it” following a crash two years ago.
However, the three-time Madison world champion remains keen on track racing, and was using the event to bring down the curtain on a year which he has described as a “fairytale”.
Cavendish is expected to sign a new one-year deal with the Belgian team, with talks continuing.