Bradley Wiggins Out of Tour

Won't compete due to knee injury

Bradley Wiggins riding to Olympic gold.    

Reigning Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins will not defend his title this year due to a lingering injury, his team said on Friday.

Wiggins, 33, has been battling inflammation in his knee for weeks, and has been unable to return to his regular training regimen. Earlier this season, he dropped out of the Giro d'Italia after contracting a chest infection.

"He hasn't been able to train hard since the Giro and now he needs further rest," said Dave Brailsford, Team Sky's principal. "Whilst we all know these things happen in sport, it doesn't take away from the fact that this is a huge disappointment for everyone in the team—and above all for Brad."

The British cyclist and three-time Olympic gold medalist was already set to ride support to Chris Froome rather than attempt to win the Tour himself, but he would have had a chance at taking the lead as Sky's backup leader.

Wiggins is the first reigning champion to miss the Tour de France since 1987, when Greg LeMond sat it out after suffering a near-fatal hunting accident.

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