Bordeaux J'Adore

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

- 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 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 THIERRY DAVID Young people at the skate park on the quays.
 ?? PHOTO ALEXIS COURCOUX ?? La Solitaire du Figaro will start in Bordeaux.
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 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 THIERRY DAVID The multi-sports area on the quays near Saint Michel.
 ?? PHOTO QUENTIN SALINIER ?? Chaban stadium welcomes rugby fans.
PHOTO QUENTIN SALINIER Chaban stadium welcomes rugby fans.

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