Sir Bradley Wiggins’ hopes of adding the Giro d’Italia title to his heap of other honours were put off for another year following Team Sky’s decision to withdraw the Englishman from this year’s race due to illness.
The 33-year old has slipped off the pace after a decent start, with results later confirming Wiggins was suffering from a chest infection. He lost time on stage four after being caught behind a crash, before falling in wet conditions on stage seven and then suffering a mechanical fault in stage eight’s time-trial.
Stage 12 saw his biggest losses, though. Wiggins picked up his chest infection in the 24 hours prior and never looked in contention on a flat day played out in heavy rain. With the Tour de France coming up in only a few weeks, Team Sky made the decision to withdraw the four-time Olympic gold medallist in order for him to recover in time for the season’s showpiece event – something to consider if you have a Tour de France free bet to place.
“The decision was made with a view to being back to full strength for the Tour. Had we continued in this Giro, the risk was that I did more damage long-term, so I think the team have taken the decision to put a stop to it now and start thinking about getting back to full strength for the Tour.”
“I am disappointed, but some things you can’t control. It is really disappointing to stop in this way because we came here for so much more,” admitted Wiggins – who was desperate to add the Giro d’Italia 2013 title to his Tour de France crown.
When it comes to the Tour, Wiggins is still widely expected to be set to play a supporting role to Chris Froome in Team Sky’s bid to keep the yellow jersey in their possession.