Team Sky suffered a “devastating” loss today at the Tour de France. On the same roads, where another Brit, Mark Cavendish has been so successful, Sky’s classification leader Bradley Wiggins crashed and broke his collarbone.

Team principal, David Brailsford said, “It’s a devastating day for the team.”

Wiggins abandoned at kilometre 167 into the 218-kilometre stage. He had been sitting sixth overall after six days of racing and ahead of the first high-mountain stages. He was 10 seconds behind race leader Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo).

“He was in great shape, he put so much work into his Tour,” added Brailsford. “It’s a shame we never got to see him go into the mountains because he was in the best shape of his life.”

Wiggins placed third in Paris-Nice, won the TT stage at Bayern-Rundfahrt, the Critérium du Dauphiné stage race, and the British championships road and time trial titles.

After fourth in 2009 and 24th last year at Sky’s debut Tour de France, Wiggins was ready to prove himself. His Tour came skidding to a stop, though.

His team-mates were helping him move ahead towards the stage’s final, a crash stopped Wiggins. Brailsford explained that the riders behind Wiggins “piled into him at great speed.” He added that the nervousness in the stage is due the tight-knit classification ahead of the race’s first mountain stage tomorrow.

Geraint Thomas explained that after the crash, he slowed and waited with Simon Gerrans and Ben Swift.

The team’s sport directors “finally came on the radio, and said that he broke his collarbone and was out,” Thomas said.

“It was gutting for the team.”

Thomas lost the white jersey of best young rider as a result. He and Sky’s remaining seven riders finished 3-06 minutes behind Cavendish, who led the 84-rider lead group home for his second stage win.

Bradley Wiggins crashes out, Tour de France 2011, stage seven

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  • phil

    Gutted like everyone else. He looked to be in superb form as evidenced by his great ride in the TTT. Hope he recovers quickly. Maybe he can have a crack at the Vuelta and the World championships?

  • arronski

    First tour stage win for Sky followed by a Nightmare, Sky must go for breakaways and sprints now,
    Hope Brads can get over this, bet he’s having a few beers tonight, chin up and go for the La Vuelta a Espana….s**t happens it’s how you deal with it !

  • Eddie

    Absolutely gutted. The tours lost a big GC contender today. Feel sorry for the whole of Team Sky especially GT loosing the white Jersey. But I’m not sure why they didn’t tell GT and B-H to remain in the bunch and protect their lead in the White Jersey. They’d have had 6 other riders to look after Brad had he been able to remount. Lets wish Brad has a speedy recovery. It would be great to see what he could do in the Vuelta.

  • k rad

    GET WELL SOON BiG LAD!

  • Steve Boddy

    Gutted. Saw Wiggo at Stamfordham less than 2 weeks ago and he looked unbeatable. I thought that is a future Tour winner; I still think he’s got it in him.

  • Chris Little

    Terrible news and a terrible shame. You could see the work he had put in. There is only one answer. Sky must regroup and seek recompense with stage wins.

  • ian

    so sad for Bradley & Sky……….im sure like me, many of us were looking forward to seeing what Bradley was going to do in the mountain stages. please come back next year Bradley, stuff the Olympics, win the TDF for Uk.

  • Chris Cowen

    Gutted – Wiggo was in the form of his career ths tour.