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"I've never seen it without someone parked in it": Cyclist waits 15 minutes for Amazon van driver parked in bike lane to move; Alberto Contador warns Tour de France rivals "unbeatable" Tadej Pogačar "looks unstoppable" + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! You made it to the final stage of the live blog Grand Tour, will Dan Alexander be leading you out to weekend glory?
24 March 2023, 14:42
"We are investigating the incident": Amazon speaks out about Edinburgh bike lane blocker
Amazon van driver Leith Walk cycle lane (Edward Tissiman/Twitter)

We've been in touch with Amazon regarding the above...

The company was quick to point out that Amazon Logistics engages independent delivery providers to provide delivery services, meaning it's "important to note" that Amazon does not own the vehicles nor employ the drivers, so it would be "wrong to say Amazon driver".

Anyway, regarding the driver of the Amazon-branded van undertaking Amazon deliveries, Amazon said...

"We have very high standards for the delivery service providers we work with and how they serve customers. We are investigating the incident."

24 March 2023, 10:45
"I've never seen it without someone parked in it": Cyclist waits 15 minutes for Amazon van driver parked in bike lane to move

Edward from Edinburgh had a live blog of his own going yesterday, live from the scene of some top-tier bike lane parking...

There's a certain irony in the the sticker telling cyclists to be careful if passing the vehicle on the inside. Anyway, the minutes ticked by... after five, Edward got told to "deal with it" by the driver who was then back for three more parcels in the subsequent 10 minutes.

After a grand total of 15 minutes, one tweet to Amazon threatening an instant Prime cancellation, and 17 cyclists forced out into the road to pass the van... Freedom...

"I've never seen it without someone parked in it," Edward told and referencing some of his replies... "I seem to have caused a great deal of angst for drivers across the UK, just by trying to keep off the road."

If you're feeling déjà vu...

> Cyclist despairs as Amazon van driver takes cycle lane shortcut before parking on pavement

(We've contacted Amazon for comment)

24 March 2023, 16:33
"I agree... because I am in the middle": Reaction from the top two

"So Wout, people will say this is the most beautiful E3 podium?"

"I agree... because I am in the middle"

Wout van Aert E3

"Because of the strength of the leading group it was hard to try something. I think Tadej did two smaller attacks. For me, I wanted to focus on the sprint and stick to one plan. It's nice because it's a long while since I've won a race on the road bike. I'm on the right way."

Van der Poel E3

Next in the chair...MvdP...

"It was a really nice race today, in the end we had some good weather. I felt quite strong and did a few nice attacks, in the end Wout van Aert was too strong in the sprint but I can live with second place and hopefully next week I can turn things around.

"My first time [here] I was third, now second. Maybe I have to come back next year? It was really nice to race against these guys again..."

24 March 2023, 16:10
Wout van Aert wins three-up sprint against Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogačar to defend E3 Saxo Bank Classic

Will Mathieu and Tadej rue the moment, with Van Aert dropped midway up the Kwaremont, when the Belgian was allowed to pull himself back to the leaders? I'd wager they won't think twice about pressing on if the same scenario arises next Sunday...

E3 finish
E3 top 10


24 March 2023, 15:44
Is today the day we get one normal 24 hours of professional cycling? No...

If you missed yesterday...

> Bike path cyclist tries to keep up with pro women's peloton... faceplants miserably 

24 March 2023, 15:16
The big three come to the fore
E3 Saxo (GCN)

Attack. Attack. Attack.

Tadej Pogačar jumped twice on the Oude Kwaremont, Van der Poel looks comfortable, Van Aert just about clinging on.

We'll leave it to GCN co-commentator Adam Blythe to sum it all up... "What a [time]... to be a cycling fan, to watch bike racing seeing these three at the front... it's what dreams are made of."

24 March 2023, 12:04
Comment of the day
24 March 2023, 11:17
Clash of the titans: MVDP vs WVA vs Pog

It's mini Flanders time and we've got some startlist...

A bit generous putting Cav in that one... 

E3 profile

Just the few cards for Jumbo Visma to play... Wout, Benoot, Van Baarle, Laporte. Then again, if Mathieu's on form, one card is all you need...

24 March 2023, 10:05
Why are cargo bikes perceived to be only for the wealthy?
podcast-1500-episode47 podcast time... you're in luck, I'm not on this episode...

> "Adrian, you're wrong!" Pedal Me's co-founder on cargo bikes + THAT foggy ride on the Isle of Man

24 March 2023, 09:58
Timmy Mallett explores "utterly brilliant Britain" ... and there's not a pothole in sight

Yesterday's Mallett post went down so well we're sharing another one...

24 March 2023, 09:13
The view from the opposition... Jumbo-Visma insists "we are very confident in our approach" for Jonas Vingegaard's Tour de France defence
Jonas Vingegaard (A.S.O./Aurélien Vialatte)

[📷:A.S.O./Aurélien Vialatte]

No sign of nerves from the Netherlands... Jumbo Visma matter-of-factly telling VeloNews "we are very confident in our approach". And why wouldn't they be? It worked last year, Pogačar enthusiastically bounding after anything and everything, taking early season race wins left, right and centre...

Vingegaard improving slowly, peaking just at the right time to dethrone his showy rival at the moment it mattered most, that'll be the plan again this year. 

"We learnt from Paris-Nice, but we won’t let it be a problem. We are very confident in our approach for Jonas and the Tour," Jumbo-Visma performance director Mathieu Heijboer explained.

"We know from before that Jonas and the whole team have to be 100 or maybe 110 per cent to be able to beat Pogačar. Jonas just wasn’t in the right place mentally at Paris-Nice.

"With an amazing opponent like Pogačar, you just can’t be at 99 per cent to beat him. We knew that already, and unfortunately we saw it at Paris-Nice. But the team, Jonas, we understand why it happened and are confident in what we’re doing.

"I think it’s a gift for us that we have such an amazing opponent. Pogačar pushes us to the very end to do all the things we do at the optimum to try to beat him. So I’m grateful for that."

24 March 2023, 08:50
Alberto Contador warns Tour de France rivals "unbeatable" Tadej Pogačar "looks unstoppable"
2023 Paris-Nice Tadej Pogacar © ASO-Aurelien Vialatte - 4.jpeg

[📷:A.S.O./Aurélien Vialatte]

Alberto Contador reckons Tadej Pogačar looks "unbeatable" in the early season, the twice Tour de France winner going as far as to say he reckons the Slovenian "looks unstoppable" at this moment in time. Pogačar, who had already equalled the Spaniard's tally of two yellow jerseys by the age of 22, is now 24 and has started the season in scintillating form, besting his main rival for this year's Tour, Jonas Vingegaard, at Paris-Nice and is now eyeing victory in some of the sport's biggest one-day races.

2023 Paris-Nice Tadej Pogacar © ASO-Aurelien Vialatte - 5.jpeg

[📷:A.S.O./Aurélien Vialatte]

Speaking to Eurosport, Contador suggested Pogačar is "capable of almost anything" and looks "unbeatable"... (even if he did have some caveats)...

"Do I think Pogačar is unstoppable this season? Well, if we go by what we have seen so far then we could say he looks unstoppable. But I think that there is a lot of the season left. I think he is going for the classics this year… and we will need to see how he manages his efforts. He is putting a lot of energy into his attacks and this could end up taking its toll.

> Check out the Colnago V4Rs Tadej Pogacar rode to Paris-Nice victory

"The Tour is by no means an easy task. There are a lot of factors that come into play. Hitting peak form, preparation, the recovery over three weeks, how his team work, how Jumbo work – his main rival. I think there are a lot of variables.

"It’s true, for now he looks unbeatable and Pogačar is capable of almost anything but I do think that there will be some races that will be harder for him than others.

"It's incredible how he can go for it from a great distance from the finish line, or in the yellow jersey or just for some bonus seconds to keep gaining time. I think that is gold and I wouldn't like to see him race in a smarter way. A separate thing is what him and his team decide with regards to winning the Tour de France again."

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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