Team Sky rider heads home after crashing on stage four
Team Sky has confirmed that Bradley Wiggins has abandoned the Tour de Suisse following his crash on stage four that left him with swelling on his right thigh and knee.
Wiggins crashed into the barriers along with CCC Polsat's Jaroslaw Marycz at the end of the first of two final circuits in Ossingen and took several minutes to remount before completing the stage on his own. He finished 11:55 behind stage winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and had slipped to 99th place.
Team Sky said Wiggins sustained grazing and bruising to his right leg and revealed he had been taking antibiotics for a mild chest infection. After reviewing his situation on Wednesday morning and confirming his crash injuries restricted his movements, it was decided that Wiggins would not start the flat 184km fifth from Ossingen to Büren A.D. Aare.
Team Sky refused to clarify if the injuries and withdrawal would affect Wiggins' chances of riding the Tour de France, only saying he hopes to back on the bike in the next 24 hours with the aim of recovering for the British National Time Trial Championships in Monmouthshire on Thursday 26 June.
Wiggins talked about his crash as he returned home from Switzerland.
“Ironically, I was the last man in the peloton, trying to stay out of trouble when it happened. They all slammed on the brakes ahead of me but there was another rider riding full gas who rode straight into the back of me," he said.
“I’ve got quite a lot of swelling on the left-hand side of my right knee. It’s one of those things, I’ve been pretty fortunate this year with crashes. I probably could have started today but it’s best to play it safe and come home now. I really want to try to be ready for the Nationals next Thursday so I didn’t want to jeopardise that for the sake of pushing on and potentially doing more damage."
Wiggins also talked about his chest infection.
“Friday’s time trial had been my main goal for the Tour de Suisse, but I’d never have been 100% for it. I’ve also been struggling with a chest infection this week, which affected my ride on stage one, and that put me back a bit so I wouldn’t have been able to perform at my best there anyway."
“The plan is to get home today, have 24 hours off the bike and then I’ll be good to go again and finalise my preparations for Wales next week.”
No Tour de France?
Abandoning the Tour de Suisse is probably the final blow to Wiggins' slim chances of riding this year's Tour de France. The final nine riders will be selected after the Tour de Suisse, with the team built around 2013 Tour winner Chris Froome.
Wiggins is convinced he will not be part of the squad and aired his grievances in an interview with BBC television earlier this month.
"I am gutted. I feel I am in the form I was two years ago. Now if I want to go to the Tour again, the reality is that I might have to go elsewhere," Wiggins said.
Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford insisted that the final Tour de France line-up of nine riders had not already been decided but hinted that Wiggins would struggle to secure a place due to the need to build a team around Froome.
"You need trust, you need camaraderie. You need all of that in a team to go and compete in this race," Brailsford told Sky Sports.
"We'll be looking at all of that and piecing it all together. Ultimately there is a selection panel which sits after the Tour de Suisse - which I chair - and that selection panel will absolutely pick the team."
While Team Sky targets winning a third consecutive Tour de France in July, Wiggins is expected to focus on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He has been named for the road squad but could also move across to track and compete in the individual pursuit for England.
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