Last year's Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins will not defend his title in the 2013 race. The 32-year-old British cyclist – who has been struggling with a persistent knee injury – will not line up with Team Sky for this year's event when it begins on 29 June.
Olympic gold medallist Wiggins – who was awarded a knighthood in the 2013 New Year's Honours list – had been struggling with an inflammation in his left knee, leaving him unable to train properly for the historic cycling event which he won in style last year, becoming the first British cyclist to do so.
The injury is reported to be unrelated to the crash Wiggins suffered during stage seven of the recent Giro d'Italia – an event he eventually had to pull out of thanks to a chest infection.
In a statement from Team Sky, head coach Dave Brailsford confirmed, “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.”
“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.”