Manx Missle Cavendish has escaped unscathed after a crash at the Ronde van Limburg in Belgium.

The crash came two days after a mechanical put an end to his chances of fighting for what would have been a fifth victory this season in Heistse Pijl.

Coming just 2.5km short of the finish line, the crash also took out a number of other contenders as 20-year-old Arnaud De Lie rode home to claim his third win in a row.

His team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team said: ‘Having been protected throughout the entire day by his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates, who worked relentlessly to bring back the escapees, the Manxman was perfectly placed in the wheel of teammate Michael Mørkøv with three kilometers to go, when in the blink of an eye he found himself on the ground after a crash that took down several riders occurred just as the peloton was reeling in a late attacker.

‘Fortunately, Mark escaped unscathed from the incident and concluded the race, but his absence meant that the Wolfpack couldn’t play a role in the finale, our highest-ranked rider being Stan Van Tricht, in 23rd position.’