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All today's news from the site and beyond.....

Welcome to your Wednesday live blog, with Simon MacMichael, Jack Sexty and the rest of the road.cc team. 

Live blog: 

13/02/2019, 18:03

British track cyclist Callum Skinner helping to lead new Global Athlete organisation, "an athlete-led movement for change"

Skinner announced his pride at his involvement in launching the organisation on his Twitter page earlier, with Global Athlete promising to give athletes an independent voice. It comes after the Russian Doping scandal and US gymnastics sexual abuse case, both of which led to calls for heightened rights and protection for athletes. The former WADA deputy director general Rob Koehler has also been named the new director general of Global Athlete. On the Global Athlete website, they've stated that their vision is to create positive change in world sport, balance the power that exists between athletes and sporting leaders and secure a more meaningful and representative athlete voice for all decisions in sport. Do you think this new independent body will lead to fairer treatment of pro cyclists, and athletes in general? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

13/02/2019, 17:43

M_I9-qvu

All-City Cycles launch Cosmic Stallion

Described as a steel all-road racer, the Cosmic Stallion has a new livery and a Shimano 105 spec. An A.C.E tubeset and big tyre clearance make it suitable for rough gravel too. Head over the the All-City website for more info.

13/02/2019, 17:32

'Who kills who' on the roads

This is actually from the Netherlands, and even though the bike is a hugely popular mode of transport it's shown to be pretty un-deadly in this graph. A version for the UK would be particularly interesting. 

13/02/2019, 16:24

wiggle new forest sportive

Wiggle offering half price entries to the New Forest Sportive to celebrate Valentine's Day

Nothing says I love you like entering your other half into a brutal 102 mile sportive around the New Forest... and if you buy at least two entries before midnight on February 14th, it will also be a more financially savvy gesture as well as a thoughtful one because the tickets are half price. The event takes place on 30th March, and there are 38, 80 and 102 mile route options to cater for all abilities. An official photographer, music, event village and locally sourced food and drink are all thrown in with the entry price. Click here to find out more and get your entries in while this most romantic of deals is still on.

13/02/2019, 16:09

Another financial facepalm courtesy of Transport for London...

13/02/2019, 15:49

Ned Boulting falls victim to half-job saddle and seatpost theft

Maybe it was just a really lovely saddle or the robber had some sort of unpleasant fetish, but unfortunately it left the popular sports presenter no option but to go home sad and saddle-less. 

13/02/2019, 13:39

Brailsford reportedly meets Colombian government to discuss potential sponsorship of Team Sky

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford has reportedly held talks with the Colombian government as he seeks to secure the UCI WorldTour outfit’s future for next season and beyond.

He is in the Latin American country for the Tour of Colombia where Chris Froome is starting his 2019 season, and according to El Espectador met with Colombia’s president Iván Duque, former Team Sky rider Rigoberto Urán, and Ernesto Lucena, the director of government agency Coldeportes, to discuss the project.

The newspaper, whose article is paywalled, speculates that Team Sky could, in effect, become Colombia’s first UCI WorldTour team.

13/02/2019, 10:33

2 Ribble Yates

Sean Yates announced as ambassador for Ribble SLe e-road bike

Due to ill health the Tour de France and Vuelta stage winner hasn't been able to ride as much as of late, but says the new lightweight Ribble SLe has got him back out conquering the hills again. Yates says: “I'm keen to start promoting the virtues of the SLe and the benefits associated with e-road bikes. Anything that looks this cool and rides that well and can get people back out there riding, keeping up with the group on the hills or cycling further and over terrain they never thought possible – has got to be a good thing.” 

The SLe is for sale on Ribble's website in various specs here

13/02/2019, 09:27

An investigative thread on the (now infamous) Cycling Safety Technology app

We're going to guess the Cycle Safety Technologies app developer has had a 'busy' week but perhaps not for the right reasons (more here) and this Twitter thread delves a bit deeper into the company's history and how the app works. It doesn't make for very promising reading...

13/02/2019, 09:15

"Why don't cyclists use the bike lane?" etc etc

This clip from Australia is pretty hard to watch... and if you click through to the Facebook post some of the comments are pretty hard to read too...

13/02/2019, 08:39

USA Cycling logo

Former track champ and Marthy Nothstein plans to sue USA Cycling for slander, libel and defamation

Nothstein, a former US congressman and a three-time track world champion, was accused of sexual harassment in an incident that took places over 20 years ago, and wfmz.com reports that his attorney filed a writ of summons on Friday notifying USA Cycling that a lawsuit is coming.

The Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist was suspended without pay from his position as executive director of the Lehigh Valley velodrome in Pennsylvania following the allegation from an 'anonymous tipster' back in August, and an investigation was opened 11 days after he announced his candidacy for US Congress as a Republican. An investigation was conducted by SafeSport who closed it with no action taken based on the available information and evidence, and in a further investigation by Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin, the woman named as the tipster even denied anything had happened. Nothstein plans to sue USA Cycling for defamation, libel and slander. 

13/02/2019, 08:32

Vélo_Birmingham_&_Midlands_2

Ambitious new West Midlands cycling infrastructure planned, with 26 new routes in the pipeline

Transport for West Midlands have announced plans to spend up to £250 million on cycling infrastructure, with 26 new routes totalling 200km linking through Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry and Solihull. They will also appoint a Cycling and Walking Ambassador, start a flagship cycling corridor and support for councils to deliver local schemes, coordinate a family cycling festival and work with communities to improve cycling and walking provisions. 

The leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward said: “It's clear that we need to change the way people travel across the West Midlands, so in addition to getting more people walking and using public transport, one of our key ambitions is to see more people cycling.

"In recent years we've launched innovative schemes to get people on their bikes. Through the Birmingham Cycle Revolution and initiatives like the award-winning Big Birmingham Bikes, we've focussed on education, training and of course promoting the many benefits of cycling; but if we are going to persuade more people to make the transition from four wheels to two, people have to feel safe on their bikes and we have to look at everything from road layouts to other cycling routes across the region.

"By increasing the investment in cycling and walking, we're signalling our determination to improve air quality, tackle congestion and improve the health of people across the region."

You can read the full report into the plans from West Midlands Combined Authority here - thanks to Peted76 for posting the link in the comments. 

13/02/2019, 08:28

How about some 'interpretive spinning' to start your day?

Looks a piece of cake... the spinner in question appears to have answered some questions in the comments section, explaining that the average person shouldn't try this at home/in the gym and these are skills she's built up over 13 years as a gymnast and fitness instructor. 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.