Updated: Sir Bradley Wiggins out of Tour de France - Official

Knee problem prevents Sky star from training to an intensity to needed to make Tour start

by Tony Farrelly   May 31, 2013  

Bradley Wiggins - image by Brendan A Ryan via Flickr

Team Sky have officially confirmed that Sir Bradley Wiggins will not be in their team for this year's Tour de France, according to Sky's Team Princiapal, Sir Dave Brailsford a knee problem has prevented Wiggins from training to the intensity required for him to be fit enough for either the Dauphine or the Tour de Suisse - both crucial preparation races for Sky's Tour Squad. I

In a statement released by the team this afternoon Brailsford, Wiggins and the team's doctor, Richard Freeman all explained the situation:

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford today 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”

Sir Bradley Wiggins said; “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.

“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.”

“This 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 Doctor Richard Freeman, said; “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’s needed intensive treatment and, whilst it will be fully resolved, Bradley now needs to rest completely for five days before a gradual, return to full training over a period of two to three weeks.”

News that Wiggins' Tour particiaption was in doubt was revealed earlier today by The Guardian's William Fotheringham, to whom Brailsford revealed that a problem, thought to be caused by too much play in Wiggins' left pedal had caused inflammation to the riders' left knee which was and was stopping him from training at full intensity.

Every cloud has a silver lining though and the news that Wiggins might not make the Tour solves the looming headache of accommodating both him and designated team leader for the race, Chris Froome, in the same team. Wiggins has made no secret of his desire, if form allows, to defend his title - earlier this year he even floated the idea that Sky might ride this year's Tour with two team leaders a suggestion promptly shot down by Brailsford.

It also has to be said that a number of Sky watchers had been predicting an 'injury' ruling Wiggins out of the Tour following his comments after leaving the Giro that he would now focus on the Tour. That, the theory went, would solve the Wiggins/Froome conundrum and avoid the embarrassment of appearing to show lack of respect for the race by leaving the defending champion at home for the start of the Tour's 100th edition.

Wiggins had returned to training after recovering from the chest infection that forced him out of the Giro d'Italia ahead of stage 13 earlier this month, his teammate Rigoberto Uran, who had been riding in support of the Briton went on to claim second place in the race.

Brailsford said that the knee problem was not related to Wiggin's crash on stage 7 of the race - after which Wiggins was seen holding an icepack to his bruised knee - but that was his right one. Instead the problem is being ascribed to too much play or float in his pedal. Although Team Sky are sponsored by Shimano Wiggins uses Speedplay pedals - which offer a much greater level of float than Shimano. Ironically that extra float is something that particularly attracts riders with knee problems.

Sir Dave's assertion that there may have been too much play in Wiggins' pedal will raise some eyebrows. The amount of float on a Speedplay can be adjusted to suit and most riders will know exactly how much adjustment their pedals require - certainly pros who ride prodigous mileages and as a result are fanatical about the set up of their bikes and their pedals. It seems unlikely that this detail would not have been known to whoever set up Sir Bradley's pedals at the Giro - which according to the Guardian report is when Wiggins started to complain about knee pain, unless of course something has changed inside his knee. In most cases problems with pedal set up is instantly noticeable and indeed painful - pedal problems aren't usually a slow burner general wear and tear however can be.

Sir Bradley has not been named in Team Sky's squad for the Dauphine Libere stage race which starts this Sunday and which he won the last two editions of. The race (along with the Tour de Suisse) is often seen as a warm up for the main Tour contenders often featuring some of the same climbs as the Tour will race over six weeks later.

However, given that he was targeting the Giro it is unlikely that he would have been in Sky's original plans for this race, and even though Wiggins only rode half the Italian grand tour, he also had a chest infection and the after affects of his Giro crashes to recover from before getting in the frame for this race.

37 user comments

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Gkam84 wrote:
Awwwww what a shame....are we sure it wasn't his dodgy mouth that's seem him a doubt for the tour??

As for the Vuelta, its been pretty much promised to Porte this season. Wiggo had his chance with the Giro. It didn't work out. Move on and wait for next year Devil

At his age? Fat chance

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [170 posts]
31st May 2013 - 11:46

6 Likes

Blimey the bloke really does have some haters. I have to admit that I've found him a challenge but come on. To be honest he hasn't really seemed on last year's form all year long. I suspect he's suffering from 2010 syndrome. He's made some crass comments but par for the course there.

He really needs Shame Sutton back in Sky to kick his arse and motivate him again.

Tour of Britain overall and look to 2014 I say.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [399 posts]
31st May 2013 - 11:57

6 Likes

Goldfever4 wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:
Awwwww what a shame....are we sure it wasn't his dodgy mouth that's seem him a doubt for the tour??

As for the Vuelta, its been pretty much promised to Porte this season. Wiggo had his chance with the Giro. It didn't work out. Move on and wait for next year Devil

At his age? Fat chance

Tell that to Cadel.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3475 posts]
31st May 2013 - 12:12

7 Likes

Well, of course we can all speculate all we like, doesnt do any good. Let support Froome at the TdF and Wiggins for the Vuelta (where maybe being an underdog might suit him psychologically?). Yes, there are a lot of haters of Wiggins here - shame that.

posted by doubledex [18 posts]
31st May 2013 - 14:31

2 Likes

Too much play eh? I reckon Chris Froome has done a Tonya Harding Wink

posted by sponican [70 posts]
31st May 2013 - 14:48

5 Likes

I suspect that people who don't like Wiggins have reason to do so, and to dismiss them as 'haters' reveals more about those commenting.
Wiggins has not exactly shone in PR terms; a fairly disreputable exit from Garmin, ill advised comments regarding Armstrong, and the on going silliness with Froome and the Tour.

Being the darling of the new-to-cycling fans because he's British wears thin very quickly...

...and if you live in Chorley, rain really shouldn't be a surprise.

posted by crikey [272 posts]
31st May 2013 - 14:50

3 Likes

Officially out according to sky site now http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,17546_8744262,00.html

posted by Super Domestique [1655 posts]
31st May 2013 - 15:24

5 Likes

SD beat me to it. Its official now Party Wave Whew!

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
31st May 2013 - 15:28

7 Likes

LMAO Wiggins wouldn't give a f--k about people hiding behind pseudonyms on internet forums slagging him off rather than getting off their arses in their own lives and working hard to achieve something.. Wink

I paraphrase slightly, but it seems apt!

posted by 700c [587 posts]
31st May 2013 - 15:45

8 Likes

"rather than getting off their arses in their own lives and working hard to achieve something.."

Ah, and you'd know this how?

Forgive for being rude, but your fanboy is showing... Wink

posted by crikey [272 posts]
31st May 2013 - 15:54

7 Likes

The tour won't be nearly as interesting without Wiggo Crying

Get out and ride

posted by davidtcycle [62 posts]
31st May 2013 - 15:55

6 Likes

700c wrote:
LMAO Wiggins wouldn't give a f--k about people hiding behind pseudonyms on internet forums slagging him off rather than getting off their arses in their own lives and working hard to achieve something.. Wink

I paraphrase slightly, but it seems apt!

I'm not hiding anywhere. My name and face are WELL out there, put in Gkam84 and you will find most of my life, I would quite happily hand out my address to Wiggo and Team Sky (which I think they have from competitions) for him to come visit and I'd discuss my issues with him in person.

No hiding for me. I just don't like his attitude about many things Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
31st May 2013 - 16:12

5 Likes

The TdF will be as interesting as the contenders make it, and if Wiggins is not on form and has little racing in his legs prior to the tour start, then that would have been very uninteresting, so best sky sends the folk who are up for it.

Je vie dans l'espoir constant

Strathlubnaig's picture

posted by Strathlubnaig [115 posts]
31st May 2013 - 17:08

5 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
700c wrote:
LMAO Wiggins wouldn't give a f--k about people hiding behind pseudonyms on internet forums slagging him off rather than getting off their arses in their own lives and working hard to achieve something.. Wink

I paraphrase slightly, but it seems apt!

I'm not hiding anywhere. My name and face are WELL out there, put in Gkam84 and you will find most of my life, I would quite happily hand out my address to Wiggo and Team Sky (which I think they have from competitions) for him to come visit and I'd discuss my issues with him in person.

No hiding for me. I just don't like his attitude about many things Nerd

I started composing my witty Confused retort before I'd seen your follow up post so this certainly wasn't aimed at you, or indeed anyone in particular - just the principle of people slagging him off on the internet.

For those who didn't get the joke, I was more-or-less quoting his own words from his memorable outburst last year, rather than accusing specific people for 'not getting off their arses' etc.

So no offence intended, just being argumentative..

As for the man himself, he is like marmite, I accept that. Personally I like the fact that he is real, fallible and not afraid of being disliked.

Oh, and I own a Sky top!

posted by 700c [587 posts]
31st May 2013 - 17:32

6 Likes

I can't bear The Jam but I love Wiggins attitude on most things. He's no time for idiots and the press - which must be wearing as they form 90% of the people he meets.

Makes a change from the usual sports people too dim or frightened of their sponsors to speak their mind and he's always been very nice to everyone on the local chainy. Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
31st May 2013 - 17:37

3 Likes

What's with the Wiggo hate? Only reason to like Sky is his no nonsense attitude! Anyone who sticks his finger up at the press and 'draws raffle tickets' on the Champs Elysees is a winner in my book.

As an aside I don't think the too much play is rubbish, at the bike fit I had with Adrian Timmis he immediately removed all the float from my speedplay's once my foot was in the right position saying too much was bad.

posted by MattT53 [129 posts]
31st May 2013 - 17:57

4 Likes

well said!!,I do have a lot of respect for what wiggins has a achieved in the past,but im not a great fan of his,im sure he is a nice man,but he just has no charm or charisma,

posted by seanboy [23 posts]
31st May 2013 - 18:28

5 Likes

No cloak and dagger stuff from Sky here. If Wiggins was going to be fit he was going to the TdF as defending champion.

Not even the most ardent Sky / Wiggins detractors can surely stick to their guns about it. Neither Sky nor Wiggins would treat the worlds biggest race with anything but respect.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2847 posts]
31st May 2013 - 18:38

6 Likes

A disappointing aspect of this whole thing is how mainstream "sports" reporters still trot out that Wiggins is special because he's the first Brit to win the Tour. At least 80 other people won the Tour before he did. No one outside the UK cares about his nationality.

He's special because he's the only man in history to win Paris-Nice, the Dauphine and the Tour de Romandie in one season. Going on to win the Tour and the Olympic TT added to that, but winning those first three already made him unique. That's why the rest of Europe will be disappointed not to see him in the Tour - because they know enough to appreciate what he did last year.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

Sanderville's picture

posted by Sanderville [229 posts]
31st May 2013 - 22:51

7 Likes

In the same way that Merckx is special for winning almost everything from 67-74....NO, he's not that good and you don't hear people going on about him all the time.

You are only as good as your last race. Doesn't matter what you did last season or how good you CLAIM to be. You have to SHOW it. In the Giro...he didn't. So until he comes back and does something, he'll get dogs abuse from people.

Look at Schleck, he was a nothing man, then Tour of Cali...he's some sort of hero again.... Thinking

But in the time off. I hope Wiggo sits and watches the TdF and see's interviews from Froome and other contenders and see how they give an interview, they can be humble and admit when someone is better than them. Wiggo has it in his head. He's the best in the world, when in reality, he's far from it Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
1st June 2013 - 0:30

4 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
Wiggo has it in his head. He's the best in the world, when in reality, he's far from it Wink

Or maybe he really doesn't have that in his head, and is really insecure, and this is the only way he can cover it up. Perhaps it even helps *him* believe he's got what it takes - and if you ask me, having the conviction is pretty essential for success. You are never going to win any big race if you are convinced other competitors are better than you.

Unless Wiggo 'fesses up, we'll just never know, and we'll be sitting here speculating.

posted by Tjuice [126 posts]
1st June 2013 - 1:26

5 Likes

Gkam, whether it's here or Twitter its non-stop bitching about Wiggins from you. You say the same thing over and over again. You can't stand him - cool, that's your right. But ring the changes every now and again eh? We all get it. Plain Face

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
1st June 2013 - 7:32

1 Like

Or, he could have a bad knee.

posted by Greebo954 [7 posts]
1st June 2013 - 7:43

2 Likes

I wonder if there has been some form of leverage applied on Sky by ASO due to the fact that Sky were not planning on backing the defending champion? ie an ultimatum, if Froomey is youe lead man, Brad is not welcome. Sky cant accord to start alienating themselves from the ASO/UCI do to their huge financial investment. The fact that Brad has a 'dodgy knee' may be just the excuse they needed.

posted by Joel [20 posts]
1st June 2013 - 8:05

3 Likes

Sam1 wrote:
Gkam, whether it's here or Twitter its non-stop bitching about Wiggins from you. You say the same thing over and over again. You can't stand him - cool, that's your right. But ring the changes every now and again eh? We all get it. Plain Face

No-one is forcing you to follow me on Twitter...and I only voice MY OPINION on him when things like this come out....If you can't bare to read my comments about him, NOT my problem Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
1st June 2013 - 10:41

3 Likes

Wiggins is just shy and a little introverted. As he's said himself - he's a cyclist not a celebrity. He's often on the local chainy and chats with all the young riders so what you see on tv is not the whole picture. Recent funny story time: The Liverpool Century CC are out on a club run and pick up a tall bloke in a hoody on a mountain bike. The old regular gives said hoody advice on gearing, tells him he has promise and suggests he should get a road bike. The hoody thanks him politely for the good advice. As they swing off the front and the rest come through there is much laughter from the group - and the old regular realises the hoody is Wiggins....

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
1st June 2013 - 11:34

4 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
Sam1 wrote:
Gkam, whether it's here or Twitter its non-stop bitching about Wiggins from you. You say the same thing over and over again. You can't stand him - cool, that's your right. But ring the changes every now and again eh? We all get it. Plain Face

No-one is forcing you to follow me on Twitter...and I only voice MY OPINION on him when things like this come out....If you can't bare to read my comments about him, NOT my problem Nerd

Wiggins is the biggest name in British cycling right now [still, for the moment] so road.cc is going to be reporting on him regularly. You are the most prolific poster on here and I have certainly had some welcome advice from you in the past. But just because there is another story on BW you are not compelled to remind us again that you have undefined 'issues' with him. The inevitable negative post from you always sparks off a hater/fanboy argument which is very boring.

Your opinion is valid but no more so than anyone else. Must we listen to it every time; there is no requirement for you to post on every thread especially if you feelings about Wiggins have been stated. Just bench it and move onto something more positive or we will start to think you are a bit like that new guy with the fixation on carrying marbles and hammers around to do cars in with. HEADLINE: 'Wiggins broken ankle after training crash with recumbent cyclist.'



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
1st June 2013 - 16:02

2 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
In the same way that Merckx is special for winning almost everything from 67-74....NO, he's not that good...You are only as good as your last race.

I think you have completely missed my point, Geekers. I was lamenting the fact that even people paid to be sports journalists think that winning the Tour and a TT last year are the reason that Wiggins is popular in Europe. As I said, at least 80 other people have won the Tour.

Winning those other three stage races in one season is the reason foreign cycling fans suddenly thought he's the bee's knees. It is a unique achievement and not even the Cannibal did it. Sports journalists should know that and they should report on it. That's my issue.

I'm not a Wiggins fan, I think he's a moody arsehole. I plan to go to my local bookies and put £20 on him retiring before Paris-Nice 2014.

I just want professional journalists to do their job properly. Don't lump me in with the fan-boys.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

Sanderville's picture

posted by Sanderville [229 posts]
1st June 2013 - 16:40

2 Likes

He should go for the Tour of Britain. Uran can support him. Wink

posted by rintintin [10 posts]
1st June 2013 - 18:40

3 Likes

I've got no problem listening to GKam. If the record is broken just let it play and it eventually stops.

I'm ambivalent about Wiggins. I thought winning the Tour was great. I have my doubts about the Sky set up and cycling in general (but what are you going to do with fat Pat at the UCI?) So while BW may not be clean I'm not sure any of his competitors are either.

It is a shame that the Wiggins/Froome rivalry/team will not play out for the TdF. I was looking forward to a re-run of 1986, one of the best TdF in recent times.

However, whether you like Wiggins or not, the timing of Brad's Giro exit seemed like bad luck for both Brad and Sky, with the possibility of Brad now being in peak condition for the TdF (and a potential headache ensuing with Brad's thirst for grand tour success unquenched).

This training injury seems very fortunate for Sky after having put all their eggs in the Froome basket. Things have ironed out very nicely for Brailsford. What next for Wiggins one wonders? If anyone has missed it, there's a thick layer of scepticism, which isn't regarding doping either.

Should be a good tour with or without Wiggo though. I'd be interested to see if Brad is with Sky this time next year.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1205 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 12:19

3 Likes