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Tour de France champion admission follows weekend rumours of illness

Team Sky’s Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed that he has been suffering from a chest infection and head cold during the Giro d’Italia. Although it's not known when he contracted the condition, there were rumours over the weekend that he along with other members of the team had been struggling with illness.

Quoted on BBC Sport, Wiggins, who currently lies fourth on GC, 2 minutes 5 seconds down on race leader Vincenzo Nibali of Astana, said: "I'm not feeling very good at the moment, I've had a pretty rough 24 hours.

"I've got a chest infection and a bog-standard head cold," explained the Tour de France champion.

The 33-year-old lost nearly a minute and a half to his rivals after crashing towards the end of Friday’s Stage 7, taking things very easy on a subsequent descent to the finish.

On Saturday, a puncture contributed towards his expected dominance in the time trial failing to materialise, with the stage won by Movistar’s Alex Dowsett.

On Sunday’s Stage 9 to Florence, Wiggins had to fight hard to rejoin the GC group after being distanced on a descent, and yesterday he lost a further 49 seconds to Nibali.

Today’s Stage 11 saw the GC group sit back and eventually let a break go away, which produced the day’s winner, Garmin-Sharp’s Ramunas Navardauskas.

Tomorrow the overall contenders will also keep a low profile with the day expected to end in a bunch sprint, while Friday’s stage is a transitional one, which gives Wiggins further time to recover ahead of the next big GC stage on Saturday.

"Fortunately in these days, these kinds of stages, there's just a bit of fighting and you can get through them and hide a little bit," Wiggins acknowledged.

"But I just want to try and fight through it and hope that a few days' time I'll be all right.

"Most of the team have been sick. It seems to last for three or four days and then you get better."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

23 comments

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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I reckon he'll be caning the Lemsips and next week, when he is feeling better, will come out and smash it!
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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Cataldo had the same thing, a couple of days of taking it a little easier and he's back up the front helping Wiggo.

Brad doesn't have that luxury unless he wants to DS for Uran and give up the fight.

I really hope he gives it 110% or give Uran a shot, because I don't want to see Uran lose out because of Wiggo, if he's not fit to fight for the Pink, be the bigger man, say so and let Uran have a chance  3

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Super Domestique [1605 posts] 3 years ago
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Very interesting to see where Sky go with this.

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Al__S [1031 posts] 3 years ago
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Anyone else wish they could ride that well with a chest infection? last time I had one walking up stairs was hard enough. Hell, standing up left me gasping and needing a sit down.

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Nzlucas [123 posts] 3 years ago
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Its all in the plan, If they had of announced this 2 days ago he would have lost more than 49secs on that climb cause Nibili would have planned to bury him. Basically Uran was distraction and a chance to claw back time for him while Wiggo does the best he can. Then announce the illness just before a sprinters stage. Wiggo will be on the mend tomorrow and the GC contenders will be frustrated they missed the opportunity to distance themselves. This is going to go to the wire boys and girls...

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

I reckon he'll be caning the Lemsips and next week, when he is feeling better, will come out and smash it!
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I'm sure lemsips are off the menu, isn't there a banned substance in them? For some reason I'm leaning towards the decongestant in them.

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Tovarishch [59 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm sure there is a Therapeutic Use Exemption, although what is therapeutic about Lemsip I have not idea.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 3 years ago
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I think there is an amphetamine in Lemsip which makes you feel better emphanephadrine (or something). However, a little known fact is that caffeine is the most performance enhancing Amphetamine, but is not actually banned (due to its easy availability and limited unhealthy side effects).

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bikeandy61 [532 posts] 3 years ago
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To me it's seemed fairly obvious that something was wrong and I suspected illness, since the TTT. Sorry to say that unless Nibbles has a bad day or two Brad is very unlikely to win. Even then Evans is 90ish seconds ahead and he too seems in top form. Only chance I can see is Uran and Wiggo do the old "one two" and see which one comes out on top a La Sastre's tour win. He won cos the opposition were too busy marking Frank S in yellow.

Even so both Sky riders have got to reduce the deficit significantly for the leaders to really worry for that tactic to work.

IMHO of course.

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notfastenough [3684 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree with Lucas, they would have been under siege if word had gotten out on the climbs.

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blago [4 posts] 3 years ago
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If I were SKY, I would let Uran take this one  7

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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Head cold my a***. It's the Giro. They've been nobbled.

Nibali's had Terry Thomas and Eric Sykes sneaking into Team Sky's rooms in the middle of the night to crank open the windows and waiters sneezing over their porridge.

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AWPeleton [3319 posts] 3 years ago
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I mentioned this a couple of days ago on another article. I personally believe that when the team are fully fit they will tank it up the hills and Astana will go pop massively.

With Henao just that little bit off the lead he will go first, followed by Uran and if fit enough Wiggins will go. Nibali will have to chase down all 3, not mentioning the other GC boys who will no doubt want to have a go as well.

I like Nibali as a rider but even if he is in the best form he cant live with constantly going after gc boys.

As for Evans, i think he will drop like a stone when the fun starts.

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geordaa [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Lemsip Cold and Flu Capsules bought in the UK contain Caffeine, Paracetamol and Phenylephrine. Not prohibited on the Global DRO website.

http://www.globaldro.com/uk-en/search/default.aspx

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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geordaa wrote:

Lemsip Cold and Flu Capsules bought in the UK contain Caffeine, Paracetamol and Phenylephrine. Not prohibited on the Global DRO website.

http://www.globaldro.com/uk-en/search/default.aspx

Cheers for that, I hoped someone would correct me if I was wrong.

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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Strange that everyone is just taking his word for it that he's ill. This is hardly a team adverse to mind games  39

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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Good point. Most clubs are packed with couldawouldashouldas if only the: knee, back, shoulder, chest infection, ill fitted bottom bracket had allowed them to spring forward and claim the victory so rightfully theirs... You get their excuses all the way home sometimes.

I do hope it's genuine and Sky suddenly leap back into action as Stumpy suggests. It's already a cracking Giro.

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Super Domestique [1605 posts] 3 years ago
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Todays weather won't help.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Im not a doctor but.......

you can see it on Wiggins face when he is climbing. His mouth is open and he is breathing through his mouth. Just like you do when you have got a cold.
As another correspondent said - when ever i have a cold it takes me about a week to recover on the bike never mind ride whilst ive got one.

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Super Domestique [1605 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe it's not a head cold but a cold head, due to lack of hair and sideburns  3

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

I think there is an amphetamine in Lemsip which makes you feel better emphanephadrine (or something). However, a little known fact is that caffeine is the most performance enhancing Amphetamine, but is not actually banned (due to its easy availability and limited unhealthy side effects).

Although banned by WADA until 20004, Caffeine is not an Amphetamine. (That's why you have to put both into Pot Belge).

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Should have tried Lemsip Max Strength today!  17

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

Im not a doctor but.......

you can see it on Wiggins face when he is climbing. His mouth is open and he is breathing through his mouth. Just like you do when you have got a cold.

that's also pretty similar to when you're just shot, after all a head cold doesn't make you descend 'like a girl'.
I know he's just completely blown today and I've no idea if he's ill but just pointing out how convenient it is.