Skip to main content

Defending champion Wiggins out of Tour de France

updated 12:14 PM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins withdrew from the Giro d'Italia earlier this month.
Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins withdrew from the Giro d'Italia earlier this month.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defending champion Bradley Wiggins withdraws from the 2013 Tour de France
  • The British cyclist has failed to recover from an ongoing knee injury
  • Wiggins was forced to pull out of the Giro d'Italia with a chest infection
  • Wiggins was set to support Chris Froome's bid for success at this year's race

(CNN) -- Defending Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has been forced out of this year's race due to an ongoing knee condition, the Briton's Sky Pro Cycling team announced on Friday.

Wiggins, the first British rider to win cycling's most prestigious event, withdrew from the Giro d'Italia with a chest infection on May 18 and he was scheduled to rest and train as well as receive treatment on his knee.

But the seven-time Olympic medalist, who has also withdrawn from the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de Suisse, has now ran out of time to adequately prepare for the Tour de France, which begins on the island of Corsica on June 29.

Read: Blue Sky thinking delivers historic yellow

"It's a huge disappointment not to make the Tour. I desperately wanted be there, for the team and for all the fans along the way -- but it's not going to happen," the 33-year-old told Sky Pro Cycling's official website.

Cycling's Next Generation
Journalist's crusade to expose Armstrong
South African cyclist: Never give up

"I can't train the way I need to train and I'm not going to be ready. Once you accept that, it's almost a relief not having to worry about the injury and the race against time.

"I've been through this before, when I broke my collarbone, so I know how it works. I'll get this sorted, set new goals for this season and focus on those."

Team principal Dave Brailsford expressed disappointment at the news, although it had already been confirmed Wiggins would play second fiddle to compatriot Chris Froome at this year's Tour.

"With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour," said Brailsford, who is also performance director of British Cycling. "It's a big loss but, given these circumstances, we won't consider him for selection.

"He hasn't been able to train hard since the Giro and now he needs further rest. Whilst we all know these things happen in sport, it doesn't take away from the fact that this is a huge disappointment for everyone in the team -- and above all for Brad.

'"It's incredibly sad to have the reigning champion at Team Sky but not lining up at the Tour. But he's a champion, a formidable athlete and will come back winning as he has before."

Team doctor Richard Freeman said Wiggins had completely recovered from his chest infection, but his knee was worse than first thought.

""The chest infection that caused his withdrawal from the Giro has responded to treatment and rest. It has completely cleared up," explained Freeman.

"However, further medical investigations on the knee injury that we were managing at the Giro showed the condition was more significant than we thought.

"It has needed intensive treatment and, whilst it will be fully resolved, Bradley now needs to rest completely for five days before a gradual, return to full training over a period of two to three weeks."

Wiggins was set to play a supporting role to Sky's lead rider Froome at this year's Tour.

Kenyan-born Froome finished second in last year's race and is one of the favorites to take the yellow jersey in 2013.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Cricket
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
India's Premier League has moved part of its season to the UAE. CNN's Amir Daftari has more.
updated 2:51 PM EST, Tue December 31, 2013
CNN's Piers Morgan decided to face a few balls from Australian cricket great Brett Lee. It didn't go well.
updated 4:56 AM EST, Mon November 18, 2013
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar talks to CNN's Mallika Kapur about his career, fan expectations and future plans.
updated 9:45 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Gareth Evans was just a small boy when a team of West Indies cricketers arrived in apartheid South Africa. The lives of these men would never be the same.
updated 12:54 PM EST, Sun December 29, 2013
Jacques Kallis crowns his final Test appearance with an innings that typifies his status as one of cricket's greatest batsmen.
updated 8:01 PM EST, Sun November 17, 2013
Every sport has its gods -- and Sachin Tendulkar has bowed out as one of the greatest in cricket's pantheon.
updated 11:59 AM EST, Fri March 8, 2013
Franklyn Stephenson was only 23 years old when his career was ended for his participation in the 1983
World Sport investigates what happened to the West Indian cricketers who were shunned after playing in apartheid-era South Africa.
updated 11:09 AM EST, Wed March 6, 2013
It has been 30 years since a group of young men from the Caribbean made a decision that would define their lives.
updated 10:12 AM EST, Fri March 8, 2013
It was supposed to be cricket's "Rosa Parks" moment, and it led to South Africa's sporting isolation for two decades.
updated 11:59 AM EST, Fri March 8, 2013
Collis King, hero of the 1979 West Indies World Cup victory, reflects on his participation in the 1983
For the young black cricketers who left the Caribbean to play in apartheid-era South Africa 30 years ago, everything changed that day.
updated 7:47 AM EST, Thu March 7, 2013
West Indies cricketer Franklyn Stephenson on the discrimination he witnessed during South Africa's apartheid era.
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
ADVERTISEMENT