‘I knew I had done some damage and that I was in bad shape’: British cycling legend Mark Cavendish talks about his horror crash in Belgium, where he suffered two broken ribs and ‘ruptured a hole’ in his lung
- Mark Cavendish fell heavily during the Ghent Six Days circuit
- The 36-year-old had nowhere to go after a rider crashed in front of him
- He suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung in the horrific accident
- Cavendish previously described the cycling track in Ghent as a ‘wall of death’
Mark Cavendish has revealed that he knew he was ‘bad’ after his horrific crash at the Ghent Six Days circuit.
The 36-year-old was racing at the Madison on Sunday night when World Champion Lasse Norman Hansen crashed right in front of him in the final race.
With nowhere to go, Cavendish rode the bike and was sent through the air in a crash that broke two ribs and what he said “ruptured a hole” in his lung.
Mark Cavendish suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung in a major accident
Speaking to The Sun, he revealed that his immediate response was to get up and let his four children Finn, Delilah, Frey and Casper know he was okay while they were there.
He said: ‘When I crashed I knew I had done some damage and I was in bad shape, that scares you.
“But the kids were there and my instinct was to get up so they would know I’m okay.
Cavendish got up after the incident in an effort to make sure his kids knew he was okay
The 36-year-old was then taken off on a stretcher and taken to hospital after his accident
“I walked back to the cabins where we stay on the velodrome and when they left I was taken to the hospital on a stretcher.”
Of the crash, he recalled: “It was a freak accident caused by water on the track after a rider spilled his drink.
“There was a wheel slip in front that set off a chain reaction and caused the crash. I landed on a bicycle, broke my ribs and tore a hole in my lung.
“The hole is behind my heart, which complicates things and makes it harder to control because it can’t be seen on X-rays, but I’ll survive.”
Cavendish in the picture behind teammate Iljo Keisse during the event last Sunday
In an interview with the times, Cavendish described Ghent’s 166m cycling track as being on a ‘wall of death’, and admitted he was ‘petrified’ by it after a crash two years ago.
He tweeted Monday night: “I just want to say how overwhelmed and grateful I am for all the support and get well wishes.
Some water on the track, a high speed crash and a few barrel rolls later I am treated for some broken ribs and pneumonia.
“With a little pain, but a few nights with the incredible staff here at Ghent University Hospital should help me.”
Cavendish took to social media after the accident to thank fans for their support
His wife Peta added: ‘Thank you to all the medical staff who helped us today and also to the staff who stepped up to help me and the children.’
Three-time World Champion Madison remains enthusiastic about track racing and used the event to cap off a fairytale year.
He signed a minimum wage contract for cycling with Deceuninck Quick-Step and then used an unexpected late call up to the Tour de France to win four stages as he equaled Eddy Merckx’ record of 34 race wins.
Cavendish is in talks with the Belgian team and is expected to sign a new one-year contract.