Cycling - Vuelta a España

Wiggins to skip Tour of Spain after toiling in Polish opener

Bradley Wiggins said he will not compete at the Vuelta a Espana after struggling on his return to racing at the Tour of Poland.

Wiggins to skip Tour of Spain after toiling in Polish opener - Cycling - Vuelta a España

Britain’s 2012 Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion missed this season’s Tour through injury, having withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia with a chest infection.

And after being dropped on one of the climbs to finish nine minutes and 13 seconds back in Saturday’s first stage of the Tour of Poland, the 33-year-old said he would not contest the Spanish Grand Tour as he works his way back to fitness.

"I won't do the Vuelta, that's for sure," Wiggins said. "The World Championships is what I'm aiming for.

"It's just small steps at the moment. I'm just focused on the present, not thinking about next year."

British cycling showed it was still in rude health as Wiggins's team-mate Chris Froome dominated to win this summer's Tour, but Sky will want their star man back near his peak in time for next season's big races.

Wiggins, however, recently admitted he may lack the motivation to contest another gruelling Tour de France having won it once and earned a knighthood.

After his comeback, he admitted he did not watch Le Tour, saying it was "too painful".

Diego Ulissi won the first stage of the Tour of Poland, which was held in his native Italy.

The Lampre-Merida rider sprinted to his second stage victory of the season, having won stage two in topping the General Classification at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali.

The 24-year-old led the charge as 18 riders swept up Orica-GreenEdge’s Peter Weening, who himself had reeled in a two-man breakaway of Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp).

The UCI has deemed this year’s tour – which is televised on Eurosport – an experimental race, with six-man teams and up to 30-second bonuses for breakaway riders in order to encourage aggressive riding.

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