Mark Cavendish crashes 'quite heavily' on stage five of Tour of Oman

Jan Hirt takes stage win and race lead atop Green Mountain on the penultimate day

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish crashed "quite heavily" on stage five of the Tour of Oman, but has said that his injuries do not seem "too bad".

Jan Hirt of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert won the day, cresting Green Mountain solo after attacking in the final kilometre, and has taken control of the race lead ahead of the final day by more than a minute.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's Cavendish came down with 62km to go as the race was briefly split apart by echelons. Team DSM put the pressure down causing chaos in the bunch as the wind threatened to blow the peloton up, resulting in a crash for the Manxman among others.

He came down with Groupama-FDJ's Ignatas Konovalovas, but both managed to finish the day. Photos from the finish line show road rash on the left hand side of Cavendish, as his kit was ripped in the fall.

He came in 14:54 behind stage winner Hirt, but was never expected to challenge on the tough finishing climb of Jabal Al Akhdhar.

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"As is normal with the chaos of echelons forming I had a touch of wheels and unfortunately I came down quite heavily," he said post-stage. "I am lucky that my injuries seem to not be too bad and I was able to get on my bike, with just some bruising and external abrasions.

"I hope that the other riders involved are also ok and I would also like to thank the race doctor for looking after me."

Cavendish leads the points classification, after finishing second and then first on the first two stages, although he has been by Hirt at the top of the standings. 

The final day should come down to a sprint, so Quick-Step will be hoping that Cavendish's injuries are not serious and do not prevent him from challenging.

The Belgian team went into the fifth stage with the race lead, after Fausto Masnada won stage four. They fought hard to keep the Italian in the red leader's jersey, but he was undone by the day's final climb, as Intermarché stamped their authority on the race. 

The final climb saw the riders climb for 5.7 km at 10.5%, and Masnada lost 1:48 behind Hirt, which saw the race lead change hands.

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