Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins expects to miss this year's race, complaining that his team is focusing on his bitter rival and defending champion Chris Froome's title defence.

Wiggins, who became the first British rider to win cycling's showpiece two years ago, was not selected to compete with Froome at the Criterium du Dauphine, the tuneup event for the Tour. It was a clear indication that he was unlikely to line up in Yorkshire on July 5 for the Tour's start in England.

Speaking to the BBC, the 34-year-old multiple Olympic gold medallist voiced his disappointment at being left out by Team Sky despite a recent surge in form and his victory at the Tour of California last month.

"I am gutted,'' Wiggins said. "I feel I am in the form I was two years ago. Now if I want to go to the Tour again, the reality is that I might have to go elsewhere. I also understand that cycling is a team sport and it is all about Team Sky winning and Chris is defending champion.''

Wiggins' contract with Sky expires at the end of the season.

Although Wiggins told French newspaper L'Equipe there is still a chance he may make the Tour if Froome picks up an injury at the Dauphine from June 8-15, it's unlikely Wiggins will be riding in France this summer.

Source: Agencies