A week after claiming his third Tour de France crown, Chris Froome got back on his golden saddle to happily repay his loyal south London fans at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.

In his warm-up for next week’s Rio Olympics, the 31-year-old Team Sky legend graced through the streets of East Sheen, Richmond Park, Kingston, Hampton, Walton-On-Thames, Molesey, Weybridge, Esher, Raynes Park, Wimbledon and Putney before finishing in The Mall, Westminster in 41st place.

His fellow Team Sky team-mate and also Rio-bound Geraint Thomas had his large lead dissolved by the chasing pack with 5km to go.

Belgium’s Tom Boonen, 35, claimed a sprint finish victory ahead of the Australian pairing of Mark Renshaw and Michael Matthews in four hours 43.56 minutes.

Froome himself enjoyed riding at this year’s event which he felt was the perfect preparation for the Olympic 60km time trial and road race competitions next week.

He said: “It was an amazing atmosphere on the road, even compared to the Tour de France. The roads were just jammed.

“I felt good and it was a great little opener for me before Rio.

“Prudential RideLondon is a great event. It’s fantastic getting people to come out on the same roads as us in the morning. It shows how far the sport has come in Britain.”

Cheam’s Madison Genesis rider Erick Roswell, who last year won the mountains competition, finished 69th in the 200km race.