Sky’s Bradley Wiggins pulled out the Tour de Suisse following a crash he sustained during stage 4.
Wiggins was brought down 28km from the finish line Tuesday and suffered bruising and swelling to his right thigh which worsened overnight, Team Sky explained on its website.
Team doctor Steve Baynes said: “Alongside the team’s physio, Nathan Thomas, I assessed Bradley last night, and again this morning. He’s suffered some pretty bad bruising on the left side of his right thigh muscle which is restricting his movement on the bike and obviously causing him discomfort. That’s going to require some treatment so, having spoken to Brad, we felt the best plan of action would be to withdraw him from the race and fly him back to the UK.”
Wiggins said that his focus now would be to recover in time to ride the British national time trial championships in Monmouthshire on June 26.
“Ironically, I was the last man in the peloton, trying to stay out of trouble when it happened,” Wiggins said. “They all slammed on the brakes ahead of me but there was another rider riding full gas who rode straight into the back of me. I’ve got quite a lot of swelling on the left-hand side of my right knee. It’s one of those things, I’ve been pretty fortunate this year with crashes. I probably could have started today but it’s best to play it safe and come home now. I really want to try to be ready for the Nationals next Thursday so I didn’t want to jeopardize that for the sake of pushing on and potentially doing more damage.”
Wiggins entered the Swiss race as a final opportunity to, perhaps, preserve a spot on Sky’s Tour de France team, though he stated beforehand that he expected that his contentious relationship with Chris Froome had likely negated any chance for that to happen. He had said he was ready to accept a support role to Froome, and admitted he will miss a chance to race on home roads for the 2014 Tour start in England on July 5.
“As a former winner, with the Grand Depart in Great Britain, it would have been great to have been there,” Wiggins said. “The team wants to win the Tour, that’s how it is, and they cannot have even a small issue, because that would be disastrous.”
Instead Wiggins will likely prepare for the Commonwealth Games in August, laying the groundwork for a shot at another gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, with an outside shot of racing the Vuelta a España in late August.
“Friday’s time trial had been my main goal for the Tour de Suisse, but I’d never have been 100% for it,” he said. “I’ve also been struggling with a chest infection this week, which affected my ride on stage one, and that put me back a bit so I wouldn’t have been able to perform at my best there anyway. The plan is to get home today, have 24 hours off the bike and then I’ll be good to go again and finalize my preparations for Wales next week.”