Cycling champion's brutal injuries after horrific high-speed crash

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Mark Cavendish, pictured here after the horrific crash.
Mark Cavendish suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the crash. Image: Getty

The cycling world was given a major scare on Monday when British star Mark Cavendish was involved in a horror crash.

Cavendish was riding in the Madison at the Six Days of Ghent event in Belgium when Danish world and Olympic champion Lasse Norman Hansen crashed in front of him after Gerben Thijssen slipped on a wet patch on the track.

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Cavendish, winner of a record-equalling 34 stages on the Tour de France, rode into the Dane's bike, sending him tumbling to the floor.

The 36-year-old was attended to by medical personnel as the event was brought to a terrifying halt.

Cavendish managed to get back to his feet but needed to be taken from the arena on a stretcher and transferred to hospital in an ambulance.

He spent the night in the intensive care unit at the Ghent University Hospital.

The Deceuninck Quick-Step team later revealed the British star suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

"Examinations showed that Mark has suffered two broken ribs on this left side and has a small pneumothorax (collapsed lung), both of which have been treated with medication," the team said.

"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."

Mark Cavendish, pictured here waving to the crowd as he is taken out of the arena on a stretcher.
Mark Cavendish waves to the crowd as he is taken out of the arena on a stretcher. (Photo by Mark Van Hecke/Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish thanks fans for their well-wishes

Cavendish later posted a photo from his hospital bed.

“Just want to say how overwhelmed & thankful I am for all the support and well-wishes," he wrote.

“So Ghent didn’t end the way we’d have preferred, I think it’s fair to say.

“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 University Hospital should sort me out.”

Cavendish's 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."

In an interview prior to the crash, Cavendish had described Ghent's 166-metre velodrome as like being on a “wall of death”, admitting he was “petrified of it” after a similar crash there two years ago.

The velodrome in Ghent is shorter and steeper than the Olympic standard 250m.

with agencies

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