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Bradley Wiggins pulls out of Abu Dhabi Tour

Sir Bradley Wiggins during stage 7a of the Tour of Britain

Sir Bradley Wiggins during stage 7a of the Tour of Britain (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Bradley Wiggins has pulled out of the upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour, meaning his career as a professional road cyclist is indeed over.

The 36-year-old, who has been caught up in controversy in recent weeks, was a surprise inclusion when the four-day Emirate race announced its first batch of participants last month, despite saying "that is certainly it for the road" after the Tour of Britain.

The Abu Dhabi Tour yesterday published its provisional start list for the race, which begins on October 20, and Wiggins’ name was at the top of the list for his eponymous Continental-level team.

However, his representatives confirmed to Cyclingnews today that he will not take part in the race.

They explained that, despite being on the provisional list, he had never actually committed to racing, and does not want to jeopardise his appearance on the track at the London Six Day, which begins on October 25. 

After that event, Wiggins is set to close out his career at the Ghent Six in November.

Update: Abu Dhabi Tour response

Later on Thursday, the Abu Dhabi Tour organisers issued a statement, saying they were "surprised and disappointed to see different stories in the media regarding Bradley Wiggins and the Abu Dhabi Tour".

They did not acknowledge they've had direct confirmation of Wiggins' withdrawal and explained that as far as they were concerned he was going to race and everything was in place for that. 

"Before the first announcement (20 September) we received the approval from Team Wiggins to communicate the presence of Bradley Wiggins at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour," read the statement. "Last week the Official Enrolment Form was submitted by a Team Wiggins official to RCS Sport with the name of the rider Bradley Wiggins included in the provisional entry list.

"In addition, as is usual practise for a major race, flights and accommodation have been booked in the name of Bradley Wiggins and those accompanying him.

"It is important to clarify that the long-standing expectation has been that Sir Bradley will be riding the 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour, and that all operations by the race owner, race organiser and its representatives and agents have been based on that expectation in good faith."

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.