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Bradley Wiggins crashes in Tour de France

July 8, 2011 |  9:01 am

 Brad_600British rider Bradley Wiggins has pulled out of the Tour de France after getting caught in a big crash that took down several riders late in Friday's seventh stage of the Tour.

Wiggins was one of about 20 riders caught near the back of the peloton with 38 kilometers to go in the 218-kilometer flat stage from Le Mans to Chateauroux.

Wiggins, who was holding his left arm, grimaced in pain after the crash as he walked around in small circles, looking disoriented. Organizers announced Wiggins had pulled out several minutes later. He was then taken away in an ambulance.

The 31-year-old Wiggins had made a bright start to the race, helping his Sky team finish third in Sunday's team time trial. He was in sixth place overall heading into stage 7.

Wiggins finished fourth in the 2009 Tour, his best-ever finish, and had won the pre-Tour Dauphine Libere stage race to further boost his confidence heading into the Tour.

Veteran American rider Christopher Horner was also caught as several riders went down in the crash, but the 39-year-old RadioShack rider was able to continue.

Sprint ace Tyler Farrar, winner of Monday's third stage, also went down but the Garmin-Cervelo rider seemed unharmed as he clambered back on to his saddle moments later and sped off.

The first week of the Tour has seen several crashes, with three-time defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain fortunate to escape with minor cuts and bruises after crashing on Wednesday's fifth stage.


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Photo: Bradley Wiggins. Credit: Guillaume Horcajuelo / European Press Agency.