Sports Extra

Cycling

USA Pro Cycling Challenge adds Fort Collins, Loveland

DENVER – The USA Pro Challenge bicycle race will start in Aspen on Aug. 19 and end in Denver a week later.

The race added stages in Fort Collins and Loveland in its third year and also will wind through Snowmass, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek and Vail. Details on the start and finish locations as well as a detailed route will be announced in the spring.

MLB

Angels trade a big bat for a Mariners southpaw

SEATTLE – The Los Angeles Angels got the pitching depth they wanted. The Seattle Mariners got the power bat they so desperately needed.

Two foes in the AL West found a way to work together Wednesday when the Angels traded switch-hitting slugger Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas, filling needs for both teams.

The 29-year-old Morales became expendable after the Angels agreed to a deal last week with free agent slugger Josh Hamilton. The Angels had been looking for a pitcher after losing Zack Greinke and Dan Haren to free agency and trading Ervin Santana.

Francis finishes a $1.5M contract with Colorado

DENVER – Jeff Francis completed a $1.5 million, one-year contract to remain with the Colorado Rockies, a deal that allows the 31-year-old left-hander to double his income if he pitches 210 innings.

Francis is 67-73 with a 4.86 ERA in 205 starts and one relief appearance during eight major league seasons – seven with Colorado and one with Kansas City. He was 6-7 with a 5.58 ERA in 24 big league starts and 113 innings this year after he spent the first two months of the season with Cincinnati’s Triple-A farm team at Louisville.

A first-round draft pick in 2002, when he was selected ninth overall, Francis missed the 2009 season after shoulder surgery. He agreed to the deal two weeks ago during the winter meetings, and it was finalized Wednesday.

Francis would earn bonuses of $100,000 for 140 innings, $125,000 for 150, $150,000 for 160, $175,000 for 170, $200,000 for 180, $225,000 for 190, $250,000 for 200 and $275,000 for 210.

Tennis

Early losers will earn more than ever Down Under

MELBOURNE, Australia – Early-round losers at the Australian Open will receive a significant pay raise as part of what tournament organizers say is the biggest purse in tennis history.

Responding to player demands for a bigger slice of the prize money, Tennis Australia moved to avert a potential boycott of the opening Grand Slam of the year.

The 2013 singles champions at Melbourne Park in January each will collect 2.43 million in Australian dollars ($2.55 million American) from a record total purse of nearly AU$31 million. First-round losers will receive AU$27,600, a 32.7-percent increase from 2012, second-round losers will get AU$45,500 (up 36.6 percent) and third-round losers will receive AU$71,000 (up 30 percent).

Prize money for the fourth round, quarterfinals and semifinals has gone up by an average of more than 14 percent. Prize money for the three rounds of qualifying also has increased by almost 15 percent, while first-round doubles prize money has increased more than 30 percent.

World Cup Ski Racing

Shiffrin shines under the Swedish floodlights

ARE, Sweden – American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin won her first World Cup event Thursday, putting down a perfect second run to win a night slalom ahead of home favorite Frida Hansdotter.

Under the floodlights on Are’s Olympia course, the 17-year-old from Vail finished with in a combined 1 minute, 45.36 seconds.

Hansdotter led after the first run but finished 0.29 seconds behind for second place.

Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia was third, 0.52 behind.

Associated Press