The 31-year-old hit the deck with 40km remaining and was eventually stretchered into the back of an ambulance with a suspected broken left collarbone.
Wiggins’ abandon marks a stark turn in events for Team Sky, who were celebrating their first Tour de France stage win just 24 hours previously.
And Wiggins’ crash has forced Team Sky boss David Brailsford into a swift tactical U-turn as the Tour heads into its second week.
“It’s devastating for Bradley more than anything, but devastating for the team,” Brailsford told ITV4. “We’ll change our focus away from the GC and go for stage victories now, and see what we can get out of the rest of the race.”
Wiggins finished fourth overall as a Garmin rider in 2009 but struggled to 24th last year as Team Sky made their Tour debut.
But the British team’s leader arrived at the Tour de France in superb form having won the prestigious stage race Critérium du Dauphiné in June before taking his first national road race title only to have his Tour cut brutally short.