Bradley Wiggins is out of the Tour de France

Defending Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins will not be competing in this year’s race due to an ongoing knee condition, said his Sky Pro Cycling team on Friday.

Wiggins was the first British rider to win cycling’s most prestigious event last year.

But in a season that looks like it won’t be stacking up well for him, the Brit also recently withdrew from the Giro d’Italia, citing a chest infection. He also withdrew from the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de Suisse.

The Brit who won over the hearts of world cycling fans when he won the 2012 Tour de France was scheduled to rest and train as well as receive treatment on his knee.

But the seven-time Olympic medalist, will not be able to prepare for the Tour de France in time, which begins on the island of Corsica on June 29.

“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,” the 33-year-old said on the Sky Pro Cycling’s official website

“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.”

Wiggin’s absence from the Tour will allow his teammate Chris Froome to show the world what he’s made of. It will be a real test of his ability to make it to the top three and to the podium in Paris.

Last year, Froome and Wiggins worked in tandem to secure the first and second slots in the Tour, with some saying that Froome was the better rider.

“This team has so many riders in great shape, ready for selection and we set incredible standards for performance which shouldn’t be compromised. We need to have the best chance to win,” said Wiggins.

Sky Team’s Doctor Richard Freeman, said; “The chest infection that caused his withdrawal from the Giro has responded to treatment and rest. It has completely cleared up.”

“However, further medical investigations on the knee injury that we were managing at the Giro showed the condition was more significant than we thought.”

“It has needed intensive treatment and, whilst it will be fully resolved, Bradley now needs to rest completely for five days before a gradual, return to full training over a period of two to three weeks.”

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