On the go,

Whether you're into main­stream sports like foot­ball or rugby, or you get your buzz from skate-board­ing or stand-up paddle, Bordeaux will cater to your ev­ery whim

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - CLARE O’HA­GAN

Get your sport­ing fix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

HIT THE QUAYS ANY DAY OF THE YEAR WHEN THE SUN IS SHIN­ING and wit­ness the hoardes of cy­clists, skate-board­ers and rollerbladers free-wheel­ing along­side the glis­ten­ing Garonne. Peo­ple here take real pride in trav­el­ling un­der their own steam. Sharp-suited busi­ness­men whiz by on long­boards, of­fice work­ers ca­su­ally jog an 8km cir­cuit in their lunch hour, and kids show off stunts on scoot­ers at one of the big­gest out­door skat­ing are­nas in France, the Col­bert Skate Park.

The Union Bordeaux Bè­gles (UBB) are a ma­jor force in the world of French rugby, play­ing in the premier league. Foot­ball fans can go and watch Bordeaux’s Girondins play in their new home - the Stade Mat­mut At­lan­tique, which opened in 2015 and was the city’s flag­ship venue dur­ing 2016’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships.

This year, the cel­e­brated yacht­ing com­pe­ti­tion, La Soli­taire Urgo Le Fi­garo sets sail in Bordeaux at the Fête du fleuve, or River Festival. One of the most chal­leng­ing solo sail­ing races in the world, this event draws huge crowds wher­ever the flotilla of one-tonne boats docks. Be­gin­ning on the 2nd June, the course will take over a month to com­plete, this year’s itin­er­ary tak­ing in Gi­jon and Con­car­neau be­fore cul­mi­nat­ing in Dieppe.

But why watch when you can take part? Run­ning is big here. In mid-april, the roads are closed to traf­fic for the Marathon de Nuit. The race kicks off from the place de La Bourse, and takes takes in Saint-genès then heads to­wards Pes­sac and its vine­yards, as well as many of the city’s ar­chi­tec­tural icons, all spec­tac­u­larly il­lu­mi­nated. Run­ners can choose to en­ter the half marathon, 10 kilo­me­ters run or the 4-per­sons re­lay if the full 26 miles is too daunt­ing.

The Bordeaux Triathlon is a three-day event held on Bordeaux Lac. This year it takes place on the 7th, 8th and 9th July. If wild swim­ming is your thing but you pre­fer to pass on the run­ning and cy­cling, you can plunge your­self into the Garonne along with 500 other wet-suit-clad men and women for the Traver­sée de Bordeaux river race in June.

‘But why watch when you can take part?‘

When it comes to sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties, this city punches well above its weight. There are sev­eral climb­ing walls, sev­eral swim­ming pools - one Olympic-size, and an ice-rink. Add to this great weather and the city’s hu­man scale which means you can step out of your home, ho­tel or of­fice and be on the river­front in min­utes. In Bordeaux there’s re­ally no ex­cuse not to be ac­tive.

PHOTO THIERRY DAVID

The Stade Mat­mut At­lan­tique hosted the foot­ball Euro­pean Foot­ball Cham­pi­onships in 2016.

PHOTO THIERRY DAVID

Young peo­ple at the skate park on the quays.

PHOTO ALEXIS COURCOUX

La Soli­taire du Fi­garo will start in Bordeaux.

PHOTO BORDEAUX METROPOLE

The Marathon de Nuit kicks off Place de la Bourse.

PHOTO THIERRY DAVID

The multi-sports area on the quays near Saint Michel.

PHOTO QUENTIN SALINIER

Cha­ban sta­dium wel­comes rugby fans.

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