IAN Wilkinson’s Tour of Britain dream is over after the Barnoldswick rider was forced out of next week’s race due to personal reasons.

The Team Raleigh GAC ace was set to be named in the six-rider squad but instead will not take part.


“It is a big shame but unfortunately I am unable to ride due to personal reasons,” Wilkinson confirmed.

The East Lancashire star, who rode the race last year, admitted that missing out on the chance to ride this year’s Tour, which sees stage two travel from Clitheroe to Colne on Monday, was tough to take.

He added: “I would obviously have liked to be a part of it with the stage being so local but we have a good team out.

“There is a little bit of local interest with Andy Hawdon who is from the Lake District and I will hopefully be able to see them in the hotel when they are over here.”

Wilkinson added that he hoped to be able to attend the East Lancashire stage on Monday as a spectator.

“Hopefully so,” he added. “I will certainly try and watch it at some point.

“I will certainly be keeping an eye on the race.”

Chorley’s Brad Morgan has also been left off the provisional Team Raleigh GAC line-up that will be led by Steve Lampier The other riders named are Poland’s Karol Domagalski, France’s Morgan Kneisky, Evan Oliphant, George Pym and Hawdon.

Meanwhile, Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed he will ride after being named in the Team Wiggins squad but there is no place for Colne’s Olympic champion Steven Burke, whose main focus continues to be the track in the build-up to the Rio games next year.

Wiggins will be joined by Michael Thompson, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Chris Lawless and Andy Tennant.

A host of other teams have also released their six-rider line-ups with Croatia’s Robert Kiserlovski leading the Tinkoff Saxo team, former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Linus Gerdemann in action for Cult Energy Pro Cycling and rising British star Josh Edmondson included in the An Post Chain Reaction squad.

The race starts on Sunday with Stage Two in East Lancashire taking place on Monday.