London - Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins will miss the rest of the Tour of Britain after being forced to pull out of Friday's sixth stage with an illness.
Wiggins, who won the Tour de France in July and his fourth Olympic gold last month, was absent from the start line as stage six, from Welshpool to Caerphilly, got underway and Team Sky confirmed the British star had picked up a stomach bug.
"Unfortunately, Bradley Wiggins was unable to start stage six of the Tour of Britain today after picking up a stomach bug," Team Sky's official Twitter site revealed.
The 32-year-old was 41st overall after stage five and trailed 12 minutes and three seconds behind Australian race leader Leigh Howard of Orica-GreenEdge.
"I'm sorry to have to pull out of the Tour," Wiggins said. "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."
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 was on Friday named in the nine-man team for the September 23 road race.