Tour de France 2014: Sir Bradley Wiggins not in Team Sky squad

Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky.
Champion Chris Froome (left) will again lead Team Sky, with 2012 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins missing out

Sir Bradley Wiggins will not race in the 2014 Tour de France, with Team Sky confirming defending champion Chris Froome will again lead their squad.

Wiggins, Britain's first winner of Le Tour in 2012, is now in England's track and road race squads for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: "It was a very tough decision. Bradley's been a great champion."

Froome begins the defence of his title at the Grand Depart in Leeds on 5 July.

The 29-year-old is joined in the nine-man team by fellow Briton Geraint Thomas, who led Team Sky at this year's Paris-Nice stage race.

Froome and Wiggins, 34, fell out during the 2012 Tour, when Froome appeared to disobey orders by pulling away from his team-mate during stage 11 before dropping back again.

Team Sky Tour de France squad
Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Bernhard Eisel, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez, Danny Pate, Xabier Zandio.

Earlier this month, Wiggins told the BBC he was likely to miss this year's race.

After winning Thursday's British time-trial championship, he said: "It's disappointing on a personal level, but I think from a team point of view they've probably put the strongest squad up as it stands."

Brailsford insisted he had picked the team that had the best chance of winning and praised Wiggins for being "fundamental to the growth of cycling in the UK".

He added on Sky Sports News: "It's about where you stand now and my job is to predict the best probability to win.

"It's one race. There's still the future and a lot more racing left in Bradley Wiggins."

Shane Sutton, head of Team England's Commonwealth cycling team, said: "I'm very happy to be able to welcome Sir Bradley back to the track team for the Commonwealth Games. His addition will be a real morale boost to the rest of the track squad.

"The decision of who will ride what event will be made nearer the time."

Froome, meanwhile, is excited to be beginning the defence of his Tour de France title in England.

"We did a recce of the Yorkshire stages a few weeks ago and the excitement was already starting to build, and the support that we have received has been fantastic," he said.

"There's no greater motivation for us than riding in front of our UK fans."

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