MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 18:12:31| >> :600:254455633:254455633:

Sir Bradley Wiggins pulls out of Tour de France due to knee injury

Wiggins out of Tour de France
© PA Photos
Sir Bradley Wiggins will not defend his Tour de France title as he is forced to withdraw due to illness.

Sir Bradley Wiggins will have no chance of defending his Tour de France title after being forced to pull out of the race due to a knee injury.

Team Sky have announced that Wiggins, who made history when he won the elite race last year, will be unable to carry out the relevant training due to an ongoing knee issue.

Wiggins withdrew from the Giro d'Italia earlier this month due to a chest infection, and was sent home to undergo treatment.

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: "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."

Wiggins added: "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.

"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."

While Wiggins will be unable to defend his title, there were suggestions that Team Sky's Chris Froome was going to contest for the yellow jersey in the tournament that begins on June 29.

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