Armstrong settles case with promotions company

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AUSTIN, Texas — With a payment and an apology, Lance Armstrong has settled a decade-long dispute with a promotions company that sought repayment of more than $10 million in bonuses it paid the former cyclist during a career that was later exposed to be fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.

Dallas-based SCA Promotions first pursued evidence of doping against Armstrong in 2005. Although the company paid Armstrong in 2006, the testimony in its lawsuit and arbitration case helped lay the foundation for later doping charges that ultimately got Armstrong banned from the sport and stripped of his record seven Tour de France victories.

SCA demanded repayment in 2013 after Armstrong publicly admitted using steroids and other doping methods. Although Armstrong’s lawyers had insisted there was no legal ground for a “redo” on the previous voluntary settlement, an arbitration panel ordered Armstrong to pay a $10 million penalty for lying under oath in the original case.

“I am pleased to have this matter behind me and I look forward to moving on. I do wish to apologize to SCA and its (chief executive), Bob Hamman, for any misconduct on my part in connection with our dispute and the resulting arbitration,” Armstrong said in a statement Sunday to The Associated Press.

Armstrong did not reveal how much he paid SCA. Company officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The SCA dispute was one of just several to hit Armstrong since his admission to doping. He previously settled a similar bonus-payments dispute with Acceptance Insurance, which had sought $3 million.

Armstrong still faces a federal whistleblower lawsuit in which the federal government is seeking repayment of more than $30 million the U.S. Postal Service paid to sponsor his teams from 1998-2004. Penalties in that case could reach the $100 million range.

The federal case was initially filed by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis in 2010. The government joined the case in 2013.

Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France victory because of doping, is scheduled to be deposed on Monday. The case is not set for trial until 2016.

Giro d’Italia to start on former railway line in Abruzzo

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L’AQUILA, Italy — The 2023 edition of the Giro d’Italia will start with an individual time trial on a coastal cycle path that has been recreated from a former railway line in the region of Abruzzo.

At a ceremony in the Abruzzo capital of L’Aquila, race organizers announced that the Grand Tour will run from May 6-28 and begin with an 18.4-kilometer (11.4-mile) time trial on the Adriatic coast.

Almost the entire time trial will be on the spectacular Costa dei Trabocchi cycle path that hugs the coast line before a short climb to the finish in Ortona.

“I am excited at the idea of the Grande Partenza (Big Start) of the Giro in Abruzzo . It is a dream come true, especially with regard to the prologue on the Costa dei Trabocchi,” said Trek-Segafredo cyclist Dario Cataldo, who is from the region.

“I well remember that when the cycle path project was born and I saw the first tracks, I imagined the beauty of a Giro d’Italia passing along the route. It looked perfect.”

Stage 2 is a 204-kilometer (127-mile) leg from Teramo to San Salvo that is hilly in the first part but expected to end in a bunch sprint.

Stage 3 will also start in the Abruzzo region, in Vasto, but it will then head south and will be detailed when the full route is revealed on Oct. 17 in Milan.

The Giro will also return to the region for Stage 7, a daunting climb on the Gran Sasso d’Italia to Campo Imperatore. The high mountain stage, on May 12, will be the edition’s first finish above 2,000 meters.

Australian Jai Hindley won this year’s Giro.

Norway takes gold-medal lead at world road cycling titles

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WOLLONGONG, Australia – Soren Waerenskjold repeated Norway’s gold medal success at the world road cycling championships a day after Tobias Foss finished first in the elite men’s time trial.

Waerenskjold won the men’s under-23 time trial on the second day of the championships with a dominant performance. He clocked 34 minutes, 13.40 seconds over the 28.8-kilometer course to beat Belgian Alec Segaert by 16.34 seconds.

British rider Leo Hayter, the younger brother of elite rider Ethan Hayter, was 24.16 seconds off the pace for the bronze medal.

Foss beat a strong field to win the elite time trial, the biggest win of his career.

Norway has two gold medals, while Dutch ace Ellen van Dijk beat Australian Grace Brown to take out the women’ elite time trial.

The mixed relay time trial is set for Wednesday. The championships conclude on the weekend with the women’s road race on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday.