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Vélo Birmingham and Midlands: Riders in 100-mile trip

Vélo Birmingham & Midlands start line Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption The course start line was near the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham

Thousands of cyclists have taken part in a 100-mile bike ride across the West Midlands.

Vélo Birmingham & Midlands started in Digbeth, Birmingham, at 06:30 BST and the route took in Solihull, Bedworth, Coventry and Sandwell.

A shorter 42-mile challenge between Birmingham and Coventry was also available to participants this year.

Organisers said it was the second-largest closed-road event in the UK. The road closures were controversial.

Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption Seventeen thousand people signed up to take part
Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption The last rider must cross the finish line no later than 17:30 BST

The closures along the route from 01:00 BST on Sunday raised concerns of people being "trapped".

In 2017 nails were thrown on to the route, however organisers said this year's course was new and improved.

Since its launch that year, a total of £2m has been raised for charity.

Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption The 2017 event was marred by controversy and complaints about road closures
Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption Thousands of spectators lined the route

Some cyclists completed the route in just over five hours, including teams raising money for Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

After a hiatus last year, the course took in rural Warwickshire and the cobbled lanes near Coventry Cathedral, after taking the A45 out of Birmingham city centre.

After the 40-mile mark in Coventry, cyclists moved on to the National Cyclists' Memorial in Meriden before pedalling back via Dudley and Sandwell in the Black Country to the finish line on Sherlock Street, central Birmingham.

Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption Cyclists passed by the historical Coventry Cathedral
Image copyright Vélo Birmingham & Midlands
Image caption Coventry marked about 40 miles into the 100-mile route

There were problems with the rider-tracking app due to the "volume of traffic" to the site, but organisers said they were working on getting it back online.

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