Gesink, Mellema lead team
Robert Gesink and Bauke Mellema will spearhead Dutch cycling team Rabobank, as they attempt to carry their recent success into the Vuelta a Espana, which starts with a time-trial in Pamplona, Spain, on Saturday and runs until Sept. 9 and the finale in Madrid. The 26-year-old Gesink, who finished sixth on the Tour of Spain in 2009 and seventh in 2009, has recovered from a crash in this year’s Tour de France and will line up alongside 25-year-old Mellema, who had a career-best fourth place on last year’s Vuelta. Mellema also won the points race on last year’s race to become the first Dutchman to win a major classification on a grand Tour since 1992. The team have had a victory-laden campaign, with stage wins for Matti Breschel and Paul Martens on the Tour of Burgos, while Lars Boom picked up a stage win on the Tour of Benelux and Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez won Tuesday’s San Sebastian classic.
Ecuador thrash Chile 3-0
Ecuador, looking like a South American powerhouse, thrashed Chile 3-0 in a friendly on Wednesday, with goals from Narciso Mina, Jaime Ayovi and Jefferson Montero. Using four attackers for much of the match, Ecuador toyed with the early leader of their continent in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. It was the third soccer match at Citi Field, home of baseball’s New York Mets, and certainly the wettest. The elements reduced the crowd to 31,901 soaked soccer aficionados whose enthusiasm was not dampened by the pounding rain that lasted through the first half. The fans tooted their horns and chanted for their nations throughout in what seemed like a home game for Ecuador. More than 100,000 Ecuadorans live in Queens, the most in any county in the US.
McDermott follows father
Alister McDermott is set to follow his father, Craig McDermott, into international cricket after being added to Australia’s squad for the one-day series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The 21-year-old McDermott, who was the leading wicket-taker in Australia’s domestic one-day competition last season, replaces Clint McKay in the squad for the three-match series after the bowler pulled a hamstring during a practice match in Darwin. “Alister was impressive in all formats last summer and bowled very well for Australia A against Durham last week,” national selector John Inverarity said. “He is a very fit and disciplined young man who bowls with good sense and good control.”