Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Giro d’Italia assault has been ended prematurely after the London 2012 time trial champion was forced to withdraw through illness.
The 33-year-old, who has seven Olympic medals to his name, was bidding to add the Giro d’Italia pink jersey to his Tour de France triumph last year.
But Wiggins was left five minutes and 22 seconds behind the leader as he battled on despite suffering a chest infection.
However Wiggins could no longer carry on and, on the advice of doctors, pulled out of the race at stage 13, hoping to recover in time to defend his Tour de France yellow jersey which starts next month.
British Cycling’s Performance Director and Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We monitored Bradley overnight and this morning we’ve withdrawn him from the Giro after consulting the team doctor.
“His chest infection has been getting worse and our primary concern is always the health of our riders.
“Bradley will return to the UK 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.”
© Sportsbeat 2013