Mark Cavendish suffered another horrific crash during today’s Milan-Sanremo, flipping over after hitting a bollard with just under 10km to go. Vincenzo Nibali later became the first Italian winner of the race since Filippo Pozzato in 2006 after a thrilling finish.
The nastiness of the crash which ended the Manx Missile's race was such that a broken rib, multiple abrasions, and a an ankle ligament injury probably counts as a relatively lucky escape.
Earlier this season Cavendish pulled out of the Abu Dhabi Tour after he was concussed and sustained whiplash in a fall during the race's first stage. He had also recently sustained a broken rib after crashing on stage one of Tirreno-Adriatico.
#Cavendish, che capriola!
— Eurosport IT (@Eurosport_IT) March 17, 2018
Team Dimension-Data later tweeted that he was being assessed by a medical team and said more information would be provided when it became available. The team duly released a medical update later on Saturday night confirming that while had escaped serious injury he certainly hadn't emerged from the incident unscathed having sustained "a new rib fracture (5th) on the same side as the one that he damaged in the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico (7th).
"He also has bruising and abrasions consistent with the scale of the crash as well as a possible 'ligamentous ankle injury' that will require further assessment once he returns home on Saturday."
The team would like to extend a big thanks to everybody who has sent messages of concern; and we will keep you updated as and when, should additional information become available.
Nibali, who had closed last season with victory in the Tour of Lombardy, another of cycling's Monuments, successfully held off the peloton for a narrow win after attacking on the Poggio.
Vincenzo Nibali wins Milano-Sanremo! pic.twitter.com/Na0vVvzlEc
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) March 17, 2018
Speaking shortly after the finish, Nibali said: “I have to thank the team, who rode perfectly. I was able to hide in the group with Colbrelli, keeping an eye out and staying out of the wind. I attacked, but when my DS told me I had a 20 second lead, I was surprised and I knew I just had to ride. When I looked over my shoulder and saw the sprinters could not catch me, it was a good moment for me, but it is too early to say if it is the best win of my career."
Caleb Ewan finished second ahead of Arnaud Démare.