U.S. government goes after Bruyneel; Froome’s supporting cast: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

It wouldn’t be pre-Tour de France week without Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel making headlines. Armstrong and Bruyneel teamed-up to conquer the Tour on seven consecutive occasions, but we all know how that story turned out. The U.S. government settled with Armstrong back in April over the claim he defrauded the government by doping, and now the government is going after Bruyneel.

Story of the day: U.S. government seeks $1.2 million from Bruyneel

The United States government is not done with the U.S. Postal Service doping fraud case, as it seeks to recoup funds from the team’s former manager, Johan Bruyneel, according to a report in USA Today.

The U.S. Justice Department filed court papers on Monday, asking a federal judge for a civil default judgment against Bruyneel. The filing says Bruyneel is personally liable for US$1.2 million. The U.S. government also named Tailwind Sports, the now-defunct company that owned the U.S. Postal Service cycling team, alongside Bruyneel in a separate default judgment. In that filing, the U.S. government is seeking an addition US$451,000.

Lance Armstrong and the U.S. government reached a settlement back in April, where the Texan had to pay nearly US$7 million for the case to be closed against him. The settlement was significantly lower than the US$100 million the U.S. government was originally seeking. Floyd Landis, who acted as a whistleblower in the case, received nearly US$3 million of the settlement.

With regards to Bruyneel, it appears the U.S. government may not be able to force Bruyneel to pay because he is not a U.S. citizen and does not live in the U.S. However, if Bruyneel were to visit the U.S., he could potentially be taken into custody at the border under subpoena.

Race Radio

Team Sky unveils Froome’s supporting Tour cast

Team Sky released the riders that will guide Chris Froome around France this month and the selections were not too surprising. Froome will have loyal domestiques Geraint Thomas, Michal Kwiatkowski, and Wout Poels alongside him at the Tour, as well as a couple of fresh faces.

Italian Gianni Moscon, who was vital in helping Froome capture the Vuelta a Espana last September, will make his Tour debut on Saturday. Colombian sensation Egan Bernal, who won the Tour of California in May, will also be lining up for the Grande Boucle. Bernal will be the youngest rider in the race and is also the only neo-pro riding the Tour this year.

Trek shifts women’s race to prime position at Waterloo CX World Cup

Trek, hosts of the opening round of the 2018-19 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Waterloo, have shifted the women’s elite race to the marquee position.

“Trek’s decision to move the women’s event to the marquee spot is absolutely huge, one of the biggest changes we’ve seen at the world cup level, second only to equal pay last year,” said Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing), in the release announcing the change. “This change sends the message to women athletes everywhere that we have a spot in this sport and our racing matters.”

Last September, the Waterloo race was the first cyclocross World Cup to offer equal prize money for the women and the men.

The races will also be live streamed again this year, with the men’s elite race beginning on Sunday, September 23 at 1:30pm Central US time, (4.30am AEST) and the women’s race at 3:15pm. You can find more information on the Trek website.

Click through to read more about the UCI Waterloo CX World Cup.

Tech news

The new 2019 Specialized Venge first-ride review: Aero is not everything

The new Specialized Venge, now in its third generation, is lighter, and, according to Specialized, it’s faster than the old one. It will only be sold with disc brakes and only with electronic drivetrains.

Click through to read our full feature-by-feature breakdown of the new 2019 Specialized Venge.

Argon 18 will partner with Australia track program through 2020 Olympics

For the past 20 years — and the past five Olympic Games — Australia’s best track cyclists have ridden BT bikes. That partnership has now come to an end and it’s Canadian brand Argon 18 that has stepped up to take BT’s place.

Argon 18 has partnered with Cycling Australia to provide bikes for the national team’s track program.

The new partnership will see the Canadian brand supply bikes to the Australian Cycling Team track squad until the end of 2020, a period which, crucially, includes the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“We conducted a thorough worldwide search and carefully considered our options,” said Simon Jones, Performance Director of the Australian Cycling Team. “We knew this was a big decision and we gave it a massive amount of thought and research. We’re taking a broader approach to how we produce results and Argon 18 are our partner. This is more than ‘just the bikes’; this is a partnership with shared goals.”

The bike of choice for Australia’s top track riders — across all disciplines — will be the Argon 18 Electron Pro.

Happy birthday to…

Fabio Aru (28), the Italian is heralded as a grand tour GC contender and rightfully so. He won the Vuelta a Espana in 2015, after capturing second overall at the Giro d’Italia earlier in that year.

However, he has since struggled to regain his winning grand tour form. Aru bonked on the penultimate day of the 2016 Tour and dropped from sixth to 13th overall. Last year, he returned to the Tour and wore the yellow jersey, but struggled over the final days and finished fifth overall. His return to the Giro d’Italia in 2018 was a disappointing one, as he did not finish the race. It remains to be seen how Aru’s grand tour GC winning potential will play out in the future. Though, we may not have to wait long, as he is tentatively slated to start the Vuelta a Espana in August.

Fabio Aru with Ernesto Colnago.

Also to, Nicolas Roche (34) and retired professional Kim Kirchen (40).

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