Trio handed Team Sky rides

CYCLING: British riders Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas have been included in Team Sky’s nine-man squad for the Tour de France.

Former world track champion Cummings makes his Tour debut after riding in last month’s Gira d’Italia, joining Thomas, who was a member of the victorious Olympic team pursuit quartet.

Both are joined by fellow Brit, Bradley Wiggins, who finished fourth on the Tour last

Cummings said: “It’s every bike rider’s dream, my dream, to go to the Tour.”

TEAM: Michael Barry (Can), Steve Cummings (GB), Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa), Simon

Gerrans (Aus), Edvald Bosson Hagen (Nor), Thomas Lofkvist (Swe), Serge Pauwels

(Bel), Geraint Thomas (GBR), Bradley Wiggins (GBR).

The Tour de France starts in Rotterdam on Saturday 3 July.

Earn Kiwi respect, says Gatland

RUGBY UNION: Coach Warren Gatland is demanding his Wales side earn the respect of the New Zealand public in Saturday’s second Test, held in his hometown of Hamilton.

Gatland’s side are looking to avenge last week’s 42-9 hammering by the All Blacks in
Dunedin and says their 2008 Six Nations Grand Slam “counts for nothing” when it comes to the 2011 World Cup hosts.

“Unless you can come to New Zealand and perform and at least push a team right to the limits, you don’t leave this country with the respect of the people,” he said. “That is important. We want to leave with our heads held high.”

Seve denied St Andrews return

GOLF: Seve Ballesteros will not be making an emotional return to St Andrews for the 150th Open Championship this year.

The three-time Open champion, 53, was due to play in the eve-of-Open four-hole Champions Challenge, but has been advised not to play by doctors.

The Spaniard, who underwent life-saving surgery after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, won the Open at St Andrews in 1984.

Brits lead the way in Munich

GOLF: Wales’ Bradley Dredge and Scot Peter Whiteford fired eight-under-par 64s to lead the opening round of the BMW?International Open in Munich.

Another Welshman, Phillip Price is in a cluster of players a shot behind on seven-under, joining Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, Argentina’s Ariel Canete and Jeppe Huldahl, of Denmark, but Ernie Els let slip an encouraging start to finish on two-under.