Opening night of Ghent Six Day marred by crashes
Mark Cavendish suffered a high-speed crash on the opening night of the Ghent Six Day in Belgium.
The Manx Missile - who won the event with Bradley Wiggins three years ago - came off during the one-lap time trial.
Cavendish went down at 70km/h after losing traction on the steep banks of the track.
He escaped largely unscathed, sustaining a number of heavy scrapes and also breaking his helmet in the incident.
The 34-year-old was up and walking in the immediate aftermath of the crash, but sat out the rest of the action.
However, the first evening of the event was then cut short following a serious incident involving Gerben Thijssen.
The Belgian had to be rushed to hospital to be treated for broken ribs and collarbone, as well as suffering three bleeds on the brain.
Twenty-one-year-old Lotto-Soudal rider Thijssen remains in intensive care but a team spokesperson said he has been conscious throughout and confirmed 'his condition is stable.'