Lance Armstrong has sold his Austin, Texas home, at a price well below its listed market value of $10 million. The disgraced cyclist is believed to be liquidating assets as he prepares to defend himself against a string of lawsuits, reports the New York Daily News, which adds that the purchaser, oil and gas rights agent Al Koehler, has told the Austin-American Statesman that he paid nowhere near that price.
The house includes the ‘mancave’ in which Armstrong reclined, surrounded by seven framed Tour de France maillots jaune in a photo he tweeted after being stripped of those very victories. Here’s a Through The Keyhole-style look at the house.
The transaction came to light after Koehler filed a deed of trust last week for a loan of $3.1 million to finance the purchase of the property, although it’s likely that he will also have paid an element of cash, making the actual transaction value higher.
It’s certainly not unusual nowadays for someone to retire, find their nest egg is disappearing faster than they expected and their pension isn’t providing as much income as they expected, and decide to downsize and release some of the equity in a home they can no longer afford to service.
Armstrong of course isn’t your typical pensioner.
His retirement came as he entered his 40s, and the reputed $125 million nest egg is being depleted by lawyers’ fees and potential liabilities from a series of lawsuits plus a Department of Justice investigation.
His ‘pension’ evaporated when his sponsors deserted him after the United States Anti-Doping Agency issued its Reasoned decision last October after banning him from sport for life.
Armstrong’s spokesman Mark Higgins confirmed that he had sold the property, but he planned to remain an Austin resident.
That news hasn’t been greeted with universal enthusiasm, with one local resident, Anna Zimmerman – author, coincidentally, of pro cycling-themed novel 150 Watts of Awesome – tweeting: “I'm glad I don't live in the fancy part of Austin. Least I don't have to worry about Lance Armstrong moving in next door... oh wait... crap.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.