Injury forces Wiggins to skip Tour de France

London, May 31 (EFE).- British cyclist Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France, will not defend his title in this year's race due to an "ongoing knee condition," his Team Sky said Friday.

"With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour," team principal Dave Brailsford said. "It's a big loss but, given these circumstances, we won't consider him for selection."

Cycling's most prestigious race begins June 29.

A lung infection forced Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France, to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia on May 16 after the 12th stage.

While he is fully recovered from the lung infection, Wiggins' knee problem turned out to be worse than initially thought, Team Sky said.

"It's a huge disappointment not to make the Tour," the cyclist said. "I desperately wanted be there, for the team and for all the fans along the way - but it's not going to happen."

"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," Wiggins said.