British road racing cyclist Mark Cavendish was sent flying over his handlebars today after colliding with a traffic bollard in Italy.

Competing in the Milano Sanremo, the cyclist was riding along quickly when he hit the bollard and flipped through the air landing in a heap on his back.

Cavendish fractured a rip and suffered ankle ligament damage in the crash but is said to be in a reasonable condition. He will undergo further medical assessments later today.

Before today's accident, Cavendish had entered the race with a broken rib and has suffered a couple of head injuries earlier this year.

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The Milano Sanremo race is the longest professional one-day race in cycling (298km long), with the first race taking place in 1907.

Cavendish crashed 10 kilometres away from the finish line, with his team confirming he sustained no serious injuries in a statement.

"Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka can confirm that, thankfully, Mark Cavendish sustained no serious injury following a major crash within 10 kilometres of the finish of Milan-Sanremo on Saturday.

"The 32-year-old fell heavily after striking a bollard and was immediately assisted by race medical personnel, after which he was taken to a local hospital.

"Following medical imaging, it was determined that he avoided major injury.

Cavendish flew over his handlebars as riders zipped past. Photo / Twitter
Cavendish flew over his handlebars as riders zipped past. Photo / Twitter

"He did sustain 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."

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