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London mayor Johnson enjoys watching Olympic road race

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
July 29, 2012, 22:00 BST,
Updated:
July 29, 2012, 23:00 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 30, 2012
Race:
2012 Olympic Games, Olympic Men's Road Race
The peloton flashes past Buckingham Palace.

The peloton flashes past Buckingham Palace.

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One million spectators estimated to have attended men's race

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was on hand to witness as professional cycling engulfed London this weekend. Johnson attended the men's Olympic road race on Saturday and although Great Britain's road team came up short with Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) taking the gold, the Mayor praised the efforts of the men's team while also predicting that the home nation's cyclists would bounce back. On Sunday Johnson's predictions came true with Lizzie Armistead taking silver in the women's race.

"I thought it was wonderful, brilliant," Johnson told Cyclingnews on Saturday as he witnessed the finish of the men's race on the Mall.

"Team GB are coming back, they're coming back. I thought it was brilliant and we'll see what happens in the days ahead. I thought they did brilliantly, I couldn't go that fast."

While some of the pro peloton criticized the marshalling, or rather the lack of it, on sections of the course Johnson praised the estimated one million spectators who came out the cheer the rider on.

"It was immense. I think it was the biggest sporting event, the crowds were enormous and it shows the growing popularity of cycling."

Johns also attended the Games' opening ceremony on Friday, during which the Queen made a television performance alongside James Bond [Daniel Craig] before appearing to jump out of a helicopter. Johnson was not part of the London opening but did share some of the details of a subsequent chat with the monarch.

"I was blubbering like a baby from the beginning and I thought it was absolutely brilliant and the most stupefying thing I've seen for a very long time. I was still dreaming about it this morning. I think it was wonderful, and what was so good was that it was genuinely us. It was true. It was about Britain and it wasn't some kind of synthesised Brito-pap stuff."

"As an actress, the Queen was keen to know how her performance was received. Basically, I hope I wasn't being overly obsequious but I told her it was very funny and she was reassured by that. I think everyone thought that it was global hit."

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