Prudential RideLondon gathers thousands of cyclists on the city streets

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London hosts the world’s biggest annual cycling festival this weekend, and both professional and amateur cyclists tour the traffic-free streets of the city in 100 or 46-mile challenges.

The Prudential RideLondon event has brought together more than 100,000 cyclists eager to take on the closed roads on two wheels between July 29 and 31.

The annual cycling event first took place in 2013 and was designed to be a lasting legacy of London’s 2012 Olympic Games. The official circuit goes around some of the capital’s great landmarks including Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the Strand, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria Embankment, and the new East-West Cycle Superhighway.

On Saturday, participants raced in two important events: the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle and the RideLondon Classique, a race dedicated to women cyclists.

The latter was won by Holland’s Kirsten Wild, a 33-year-old cyclist who rides for the Hitec Products team and who finished the race in 1hr 28min 13sec. Nina Kessler came in second place, while Leah Kirchmann, Lucinda Brand and Maria Giulia Confalonieri completed the rest of the top five.

“It might have looked easy but it wasn’t. It was a really good race, I looked forward to it for a few weeks. I saw the finish line and I thought ‘that’s my finish line’,” Wild said in an interview to BBC.

Today more than 26,000 amateur cyclists will take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, which starts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, goes through central London and Surrey, and finishes in front of Buckingham Palace. Also today, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, the men’s version of Saturday’s Classique, will take place.