Tour de France 2013: Bradley Wiggins withdraws due to knee injury

Alex Livesey

The 2012 Tour de France champion won't be able to compete in this year's race.

Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France winner, was forced to withdraw from this year's Tour de France because of various health issues that have limited his ability to train, according to a report from Team Sky's website on Friday.

Wiggins has been battling a knee injury and lingering chest infection, both of which led to his withdrawing from the Giro d'Italia in May. He and the team came to the conclusion that his inability to properly prepare for the Tour de France, set to begin on Saturday, June 29, rules him out for the race he won a year ago.

Wiggins had this to say in the team statement:

"It's a huge disappointment not to make the Tour. I desperately wanted be there, for the team and for all the fans along the way - but it's not going to happen.

"I can't train the way I need to train and I'm not going to be ready. Once you accept that, it's almost a relief not having to worry about the injury and the race against time."

Also in the statement, Richard Freeman, the team's doctor, noted that Wiggins' knee injury "was more significant than we thought," adding that his return to full training will likely take about two to three weeks.

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