Illness and injury put participation in doubt
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) could miss the Tour de France, according to reports in Gazzetta dello Sport and the Daily Mail on Friday. The defending Tour champion withdrew from the Giro d’Italia ahead of stage 13 citing a chest infection and a knee injury.
Wiggins will not ride the Critérium du Dauphiné, which gets underway on Sunday, and the Daily Mail reports that he is “making slow progress” in his bid to recover from the ailments that cut short his Giro bid. Gazzetta dello Sport points to Wiggins’ troublesome knee, in particular, as hampering his progress. The Englishman was said to be afflicted by tendonitis in his left knee during the Giro.
"With these setbacks I can confirm that Brad cannot currently train properly and we are monitoring this situation carefully," Sky manager Dave Brailsford told The Guardian on Friday morning.
Prior to the Giro, there had been speculation that Wiggins would race the Route du Sud [June 13-16] as his final preparation race for the Tour, but after he failed to finish the Italian race, it was assumed that his pre-Tour tune-up would take place at the Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse [June 8-16].
A spokesperson for Sky told the Daily Mail that the Tour de Suisse team will be announced early next week and that no decision has been taken on the Tour de France squad.
Chris Froome, second overall last year, is set to lead Sky’s Tour team after an impressive opening to the 2013 season that has seen him capture the Tour of Oman, Critérium International and Tour de Romandie.
Although Wiggins had spoken of aiming for a Giro-Tour double at a press conference in early May, Dave Brailsford confirmed shortly afterwards that Froome would indeed be the leader in July.