Bradley Wiggins withdrawn from Sky’s Tour de France team
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Bradley Wiggins withdrawn from Sky’s Tour de France team

by Ben Atkins at 11:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
 
Illness and injury prevent first-ever British winner defending his title

bradley wigginsBradley Wiggins has officially been withdrawn from Team Sky’s Tour de France roster, due to ongoing health and injury problems, which means he will be unable to defend the title he won last year. The 33-year-old, who received a Knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours list thanks to his Tour title and Olympic success in 2012, withdrew from the Giro d’Italia suffering from a chest infection, while an ongoing knee problem has prevented him from fully resuming his training.

“With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour. It’s a big loss but, given these circumstances, we won’t consider him for selection,” confirmed Team Sky principle Dave Brailsford.
 
“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,” Brailsford added. But he’s a champion, a formidable athlete and will come back winning as he has before.”

If Wiggins’ 2012 season was all-but perfect, with victories in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné coming before his Tour de France and Olympic glories, 2013 has seen very little go right. Fifth places in the Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino have been the high points of a disappointing year so far, under constant speculation over whether Team Sky would ride for him or teammate Chris Froome in the Tour de France.

“It’s a huge disappointment not to make the Tour,” said Wiggins.  “I desperately wanted be there, for the team and for all the fans along the way - but It’s not going to happen. 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 [in the 2011 Tour] so I know how it works,” Wiggins added. “I’ll get this sorted, set new goals for this season and focus on those.”

With Wiggins’ withdrawal from the Tour de France team, the way is clear for Froome to take undisputed leadership of Team Sky, and will face the pressures that this responsibility comes with.

“This team has so many riders in great shape, ready for selection and we set incredible standards for performance which shouldn’t be compromised,” said Wiggins.  “We need to have the best chance to win.”

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