Defending champion Bradley Wiggins out of Tour de France 2013
Two weeks ago, a worsening chest infection caused Wiggins' withdrawal from the 2013 Giro d’Italia and he returned home for treatment, rest, and further assessment of what his team management reports as an ongoing knee condition.
During his period of treatment and recovery he has been unable to train with any intensity and he will not be able to race at this month’s Criterium du Dauphine or Tour de Suisse, which would have been a natural part of his build-up for the Tour de France.
Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford earlier today confirmed what many had feared - Wiggins won't take part in this year's Tour de France.
"With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour de France. 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 d'Italia 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 de France. But he’s a champion, a formidable athlete and will come back winning as he has before"
Wiggins himself commented "It’s a huge disappointment not to make the Tour de France. 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, so I know how it works. I’ll get this sorted, set new goals for this season and focus on those. Our team has so many riders in great shape, ready for selection and we set incredible standards for performance which shouldn’t be compromised. We need to have the best chance to win."
Team Sky's Doctor Richard Freeman elaborated on Wiggins' current condition.
"The chest infection that caused his withdrawal from the Giro has responded to treatment and rest. It has completely cleared up. 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 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' teammate Chris Froome can now rest assured that he'll lead Team Sky in this year's Tour de France as he's been promised for months by his team's management group.