Pellizotti takes stage
Italian rider Franco Pellizotti of Liquigas won the 16th stage of the Tour of Italy, a 12.9km time trial on Monday. Spain’s Tour de France champion Alberto Contador retained the leader’s pink jersey after finishing fourth on the day, 22 seconds off Pellizotti’s pace. Specialist Italian climber Emanuele Sella finished second on the stage at six seconds, just ahead of a stunning performance from 37-year-old Italian veteran and former two-time Giro winner Gilberto Simoni, third at 17 seconds back. Reigning Tour de France champion Contador extended his lead at the top of the overall standings, though, as second-placed Riccardo Ricco was fifth on the stage, eight seconds behind Contador. It was a bad day for two overall contenders, though, as Italian Marzio Bruseghin lost 42 seconds to Contador and Russian Tour of Spain champion Denis Menchov gave up almost 1minute 30 seconds after coming to a virtual standstill in the steep final kilometer.
Lightning kills ex-MLB star
Former Major League Baseball player Geremi Gonzalez was struck by lightning and killed over the weekend at a lake in his native Venezuela, authorities said on Monday. Gonzalez, 33, a pitcher who was signed to Japan’s Yomiuri Giants last year, had previously played for the Chicago Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers. There were conflicting versions of what Gonzalez was doing at the time of his death on Sunday, but local emergency services said he was playing with a motorized water-bike when the lightning struck at Lake Maracaibo in his home state of Zulia.
Gough to call it a day
Former England pace bowler Darren Gough will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the season. Yorkshire captain Gough, 37, believes the time is right to bow out because he is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the strain on his body of four-day cricket. “I have always been confident that this would be my last season,” Gough said. “Although Yorkshire had asked me if I would stay for another year I thought the time was right for me to call it a day at the end of September ... I will still enjoy playing the game and will probably turn out for a pub team or something like that.”
Clashes leave fan dead
One man died and at least 10 people were wounded in clashes between hundreds of fans in Vietnam, state media reported yesterday. The violence erupted in the central city of Vinh on Sunday after a 1-1 draw between local V-League team Song Lam Nghe An and visitors Haiphong Cement. Fighting broke out after Haiphong scored an equalizer three minutes from time, which the 600 visiting Haiphong fans noisily celebrated with firecrackers, reported the state-run Vietnam News daily. Hooligans then started to hurl bricks and bottles at each other. “The brawl quickly turned into a huge battle, with most fans involved using bricks, sticks and whatever else was lying around to fight against each other,” the newspaper said. The Haiphong fans, heavily outnumbered, were escorted from the stadium after about 90 minutes under police guard, and placed onto their fleet of buses, reported another newspaper, the Thanh Nien daily. As the buses, many with broken windows, sped out of town, one hit a fan of the home team, 23-year-old Ha Huy Thanh, who was then run over by a second vehicle and pronounced dead at a local hospital, the report said.