In brief: Irish geared for heavy schedule
Ireland's senior inter-national players have six high-quality fixtures lined up starting with a Four Nations tournament in Germany (June 25-27) and finishing with three clashes against Australia in Belfield (June 30-July 3).
The Four Nations event in Essen will see the Irish girls take on hosts Germany, as well as Australia and India.
Coach Gene Muller yesterday named his squads for the two events, with new cap Nicola Evans (Railway Union) included in the 18 picked for Germany. The 19-strong squad for the Test series against Australia sees Louisa Healy (Loreto) replacing Mary Goode (Bray) in goal and Sinead McCarthy (Cork Harlequins) in for her first cap.
Mark Cavendish caused a major crash in the final metres to hand victory to Alessandro Petacchi on stage four of the Tour de Suisse yesterday.
Cavendish had positioned himself well for a stage win, but touched wheels with Heinrich Haussler, sparking an incident that knocked out the top sprinters and cleared a path for Petacchi.
Matti Breschel and Marco Marcato took second and third amid the chaos.
Overall leader Tony Martin, Cavendish's HTC-Columbia team-mate, was slowed by the crash, but still managed to retain his narrow overall advantage over Fabian Cancellara.
IRELAND'S Barry King yesterday ended a run of three first-round defeats by coming up trumps in the opening round of the ITF Men's Futures event in the Canary Islands.
The 25-year-old Dubliner, the No 7 seed, booked his place in the second round of the hardcourt tournament with a 6-2 7-5 win over unseeded Spaniard Javier Pulgar-Garcia.
Today, King takes on unseeded Swiss player Riccardo Maiga.
With five days to the off, it looks like the 2010 Conway Media Round Ireland Yacht Race will have a total of 40 yachts participating.
All focus will be on Wicklow as the yachts set sail this Sunday at noon. There are boats from France, Netherlands, UK as well as from all coasts of Ireland already signed up.
The largest boat entered is Celtic Spirit of Fastnet, a sturdy 72-foot Cruiser/ Racer, which has been to the Antarctic in the recent past.
Just behind them is a real flying machine, Pride of Rosslare Europort, an IMOCA 60, which will be expected to take line honours.