Giro d'Italia 2013 : Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Tyder Hesjedal have withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia.
See the route of the Giro here
Two of the Giro's high profile riders have withdrawn ahead of the weekend's high mountain stages.
Bradley Wiggins, who crashed on stage 7, developed a chest infection in the cold and wet conditions the race has endured so far. With no real prospect that the weather will improve the Brit took the decision on medicla advice to withdraw and recover back in the UK.
Outlining the situation, Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: "We monitored Bradley overnight and this morning we’ve withdrawn him from the Giro after consulting the team doctor.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 today 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."
With a strong group of eight riders remaining at the Giro, Team Sky will ride in support of Rigoberto Urán. The Colombian currently sits in third place overall, two minutes and four seconds off the race lead.
Ryder Hesjedal, the defending champion has also withdrawn. The Canadian had struggled throughout the opening two weeks and eventually dropped out of contention on stage 11 to Vajont (Erto e Casso).
The Garmin-Sharp team said that Hesjedal, who was more than 32 minutes behind in 38th-place overall, withdrew because of a "deteriorating physical condition." The Canadian has been struggling with power since the Stage 8 time trial.
"It's heartbreaking," Hesjedal said. "I want to be here for my team and for all the people who have supported me to get me here to this point.I built my entire season around the Giro and I came here feeling great, but I have been suffering since the TT [time trials]. We're working on it, but we're not sure what's wrong. There's a virus that's been going around, so it could be that or severe allergies or going too deep on the TT combined with both."
Race Route for 2013
Giro 2013 Route © Gazetta dello Sport
2013 Giro d'Italia
Support the Daily Peloton
Celebrating our 12th year!