Bradley Wiggins has withdrawn from this year’s Giro D’Italia, just before the start of stage 13 on medical grounds. It was revealed after a gruelling stage 12 that Wiggins has been battling a chest infection that has now got the better of him.
It became apparent during that stage that Wiggins was struggling, as he dropped off the back of the peloton in the latter parts, and eventually lost around 2 minutes to his closest rivals. As a result, Wiggins was kept under observation by Team Sky’s medical staff, and the decision was made early on Friday morning that the 2012 Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial champion would not continue.
“His chest infection has been getting worse and our primary concern is always the health of our riders,” said Team Sky director Dave Brailsford.
“Bradley will return to the UK today for treatment and to rest, and we hope to have him back on the road as soon as possible.”
“As a passionate racer he wanted to continue but he is simply unable to do so on medical grounds,” added Brailsford.
Wiggins, who lay in 13th place in the General Classification before his withdrawal, was more than 5 minutes down on the leader, Vicenzo Nibali, and more than 3 minutes off his fellow Team Sky rider Rigoberto Uran in third. Wiggins had a difficult Grio, coming off his bike in rainy conditions on stage 7 before struggling to produce his top form in his specialist event, the individual time trial, on stage 8.
Despite Wiggins’ withdrawal, Sky are still well placed, with their efforts now firmly behind third-placed Uran, winner of stage 10.
There is good news for Britain elsewhere however, with sprinter Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick-Step) picking up 3 stage wins, as well as a stage win for former Sky rider Alex Dowsett, now of Team Movistar.
Overall Classification (after stage 12)
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 46:28:14″
2. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC Racing) +41″
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Team Sky) +2’04”
4. Robert Gesink (Ned/Blanco) +2’12”
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita/Lampre) +2’13”