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Boris Johnson Plans London Cycling Marathon

15th April 2011

As London prepares for the annual marathon, Mayor Boris Johnson announces plans for the world's largest timed bike race in the capital.

On March 17th, as professional and amateur runners take to the streets of London, Boris Johnson announces plans for The ‘London Marathon on Wheels’ – a parallel race for the world’s top pro riders. Scheduled for 2013, the race will see up to 30,000 cyclists taking to the streets on their bikes in a televised race.

According to the Evening Standard, the race, which will be shown on the BBC, is modelled on Cape Town's annual ‘Argus’, and the estimated £3 million cost would be covered by entry fees and sponsorship. Four possible routes have been proposed: The 2012 Olympic road race with a start/finish in The Mall; then heading out to south-west London and Box Hill; A central London ring following the north/south circular taking in more than 20 boroughs and the Olympic Park; A start/finish in the Olympic Park, including some central London "icons" then heading east into Essex and A Greenwich start; head south to Kent (like the 2007 Tour de France UK stage); and a central London finish.

The Standard reports that the route following the Olympic Road Race appears to be the favoured option, with documents foreseeing the event then “evolving to a more inclusive route (including the Olympic Park) in subsequent years.”

The race would be organised by the international cycling federation, UCI, which is considering bids from nine UK cities, including London, to host a British leg of its world tour.

Before Mayor Johnson launches an official bid, tourism agency Visit London will host a meeting week of transport chiefs, London Marathon bosses and the Metropolitan Police to discuss the race.

As well as his eminent and influential role as London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson is a well-known writer, broadcaster and MP – and an accomplished after dinner speaker. Appointed Editor of The Spectator in August 1999, Boris Johnson was voted Editors' Editor of the Year and Columnist of the Year at the British Press Awards.

To attain his Mayoral position, Boris Johnson won a hotly contested battle against former Mayor Ken Livingstone and Liberal Demorcrat candidate Brian Paddock.  He celebrated his second anniversary as Mayor on May 1st 2010.

His predecessor Ken Livingstone – the first Mayor of London – is equally respected as a professional speaker specialising in business and politics. He also served as Labour Party Member of Parliament for Brent East between 1987 and 2001.

One of Ken’s greatest challenges as Mayor of London was dealing with the city's ageing transportation infrastructure. Ken Livingstone introduced many schemes including bendy buses, oyster cards and the congestion charge.

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