Wiggins 'sorry' for withdrawal

  • Last Updated: September 14 2012, 14:11 BST

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has apologised for withdrawing from the remainder of the Tour of Britain with a stomach bug.

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Wiggins, who won the French race in July and his fourth Olympic gold in the time-trial at Hampton Court last month, was a non-starter on Friday's sixth stage from Welshpool to Caerphilly.

"I'm sorry to have to pull out of the Tour," said Wiggins on Team Sky's official website.

"I've loved the last six days, meeting so many people around the country and enjoying those crowds along the roads. It's been a great experience, but this bug sadly means I'll now miss the climax this weekend.

"I'm sorry I can't continue and would like to thank all those fans, of all ages, for the support. Those fans have really inspired us this week and this summer."

The 32-year-old was 41st overall after stage five to Stoke, 12 minutes and three seconds behind race leader Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge).

After Friday's Welsh stage, Wiggins will also miss stage seven from Barnstaple to Dartmouth and the eighth and final stage from Reigate to Guildford on Sunday.

Wiggins will instead concentrate on recovering to take his place in the Great Britain team for the road World Championships, which take place in Holland next week. He has been named in the nine-man team for the September 23 road race.