Wiggins out of Britain to focus on worlds

Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) stopped the clock in fourth place.

Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) stopped the clock in fourth place. (Image credit: AFP)

British rider Bradley Wiggins has withdrawn from his home Tour, with the Garmin-Slipstream rider adopting a cautious approach leading in to this month’s International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Championships. Wiggins endured a big day in the saddle on the Tour of Britain’s stage four, with the rider playing a key part in pulling back a threatening breakaway.

"It's just over a week to the world championships and I don't want to take any risks," he told guardian.co.uk. "I've got to keep the bigger picture in perspective and save my mental energy for one last big effort.

"I'm riding well and when I'm like that I can't resist riding hard and today I did 50km on the front," he added. "But I could end up going too hard and not have anything left for the world championships. The Tour of Britain is a hard race and you can't take things for granted.”

Wiggins is confident heading in to the worlds, to be held in Switzerland, with the rider confident over his chances of a podium finish. Wiggins isn’t, however, as convinced that it will be a gold medal, knowing that the home town favourite will be difficult to beat.

“I’m doing everything right with my build-up because I really do believe I can get a medal,” said Wiggins. "I say a medal because I don't want to say I can beat Fabian Cancellara. He's the undoubted favourite.

"But everybody is beatable and I'll just try and do my best ride on the day,” he added. “We'll see what happens. I've said all year that I want a medal because it'll top off a great season for me. Of course, I won't say no to the win and the world title, either."

Wiggins has joined Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen in lashing out at anti-cyclist comments made motoring writer James Martin. Both riders were outraged at the writer’s comments and made their feelings known via Twitter.

"James Martin TV chef. The word cock springs to mind, stick to Ready Steady T*** mate," Wiggins wrote after the stage.

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