By Nigel Wynn
Bradley Wiggins has withdrawn from the 2013 Giro d'Italia after suffering from a lingering chest infection, the Sky team confirmed on Friday morning. He will not start stage 13 after the team sought medical advice on Wiggins' condition.
Wiggins struggled in the severe weather conditions on Thursday's stage 12. Despite the flat nature of the route, he lost over three minutes to the peloton including race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and second-placed Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) - ending his chances of winning the race.
"We monitored Bradley overnight and this morning we've withdrawn him from the Giro after consulting the team doctor," Sky team principal David Brailsford said in a statement. "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."
Rigoberto Uran will now resume Sky team leadership. The Colombian currently sits third overall behind race leader Nibali and Evans.
Defending Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) and sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) also withdrew from the race and will not start stage 13.
Rigoberto Uran takes over Sky leadership at Giro after Wiggins withdraws
Giro d'Italia 2013: Previews and race info
Giro d'Italia 2013: Coverage index
Giro d'Italia 2013: British TV schedule
Giro 2013: 10 things you need to know
Giro d'Italia 2013: The Big Preview
Giro d'Italia 2013: Stage reports
Stage 12: Cavendish takes 100th win as Wiggins' Giro bid faltrs
Stage 11: Navardauskas wins as favourites enjoy day off
Stage 10: Uran wins as Wiggins and Hesjedal lose time
Stage nine: Belkov takes solo win as Wiggins put under pressure
Stage eight: Dowsett wins as Nibali takes race lead
Stage seven: Wiggins crashes as Hansen wins
Stage six: Cavendish wins stage six of Giro
Stage five: Degenkolb avoids crash to take win
Stage four: Battaglin sprints to first Giro stage win
Stage three: Paolini takes charge
Stage two: Sky wins team time trial
Stage one: Cavendish wins opener
Giro d'Italia 2013: Photo galleries
Photos by Graham Watson
Stage 12 gallery
Stage 11 gallery
Stage 10 gallery
Stage nine gallery
Stage eight gallery
Stage seven gallery
Stage six gallery
Stage five gallery
Stage four gallery
Stage three gallery
Stage two gallery
Stage one gallery
Team presentation gallery
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