Mark Cavendish suffered a collapsed lung and two broken ribs in a crash during Ghent’s six-day track event on Sunday night, his Deceuninck-QuickStep team announced.
Cavendish spent the night in the intensive care unit of a Belgian hospital after leaving the velodrome on a stretcher, but is expected to be discharged soon.
A statement said: “After his crash at Ghent Six Day, Mark Cavendish was taken to Ghent University Hospital where he was held overnight. Investigations showed that Mark has two broken ribs on this left side and has a small pneumothorax, both of which has 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 early, and will then undergo a period of recreation. Everyone at Deceuninck-QuickStep wishes Mark a speedy recovery. ”
Cavendish, who rode with his teammate Iljo Keisse, was one of several riders who crashed in the final race. The 36-year-old stood waving to spectators after the incident, but was then laid on a stretcher and driven to the hospital.
His wife, Peta Todd, wrote on Twitter: “Thank you for all the messages. Mark spends the night in the intensive care unit after the day’s crash. Thank you to all the medical staff who helped us today and also to the staff who went out of their way to help me. and the children. “
In an interview with the Times prior to the crash, Cavendish had described racing at Ghent’s 166-meter velodrome, shorter and steeper than the Olympic standard 250m, as being on a “wall of death”, admitting he was “petrified” of it after a governed two years ago.
The three-time Madison world champion, however, remains keen on track racing and used the event to put the curtain down for a year, which he has described as an “adventure”.
Fearing his career was over last year, Cavendish signed a minimum wage contract with Deceuninck-QuickStep and then used an unexpectedly late call for the Tour de France to win four stages, his first since 2016, when he matched Eddy Merckx ‘all – time record of 34 victories in the race. Cavendish is expected to sign a new one-year deal with the Belgian team, with negotiations continuing.