Johnson, a cycling advocate who announced plans to spend almost £1bn making London more cycling friendly, promised RideLondon will return despite the fact the weekend festival shut down the UK capital to motorists. “We’re definitely going to see it next year, but whether you’ll see me taking part again is yet to be decided,” he said.
“I was overtaken solidly for about four hours, and then in the last bit once we’d done the hill I was starting to overhaul some people – a few 60-year-old men and a few children – but 80-year-old women were soaring past me,” the 49-year-old mayor told the BBC after crossing the finish line on The Mall. “It was a very chastening but wonderful experience.”
Johnson said he could have knocked an hour off his time had he avoided a puncture in Cobham, Surrey. “The truth is it’s not that hard, and that’s why I’m here to prove that,” he said. “Actually, I am 17 stone, I am by no means fit and I got myself around that course in a perfectly respectable time – not supersonic, but perfectly respectable.”
Johnson speaking after completing the RideLondon sportive
Celebrities who took part alongside the mayor included three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, ex-England rugby captain Matt Dawson, Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell and Lee Latchford-Evans from pop group Steps.
More than 15,000 people completed the RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive, which preceded a men’s professional road race, the London-Surrey Classic, won by French rider Arnaud Démare (FDJ). At the beginning of the year, car manufacturers Škoda announced a three-year sponsorship of the professional race.