French Grand Prix...
The first Grand Prix was held in Le Mans, Sarthe circuit, France on 26th June1906
The event was organised by the Automobile Club de France, so Grand Prix motor racing might be regarded as a French invention, & the country were the leading motor-manufacturer at the time...
The incentive for the 32 competitors to enter was the pot of prize money on offer, hence the title Grand Prix = BIG PRIZE!
The event was rerun at Dieppe, in 1907/08, but cancelled for 1909/11
The French GP returned to the 79km circuit at Dieppe for 1912
A 1-off event was held at Amiens in 1913
The track at Lyon was used to stage the French GP in 1914
The intervention of WWI prevented Grand Prix racing being staged in France, between 1915 - 1920
When GP racing returned in the country which initiated it, the host circuit was again Le Mans, for 1921
The event moved again, to Strasbourg for 1922
Yet another change of venue occurred, this time to Tours, for the French GP of 1923
The inability of the French GP to find a home circuit, meant that Lyons returned a decade after staging the event, for 1924
Autodrome de Linas-Montlhery was built with a full pits-complex, in order to become a proper base for the race, close to Paris, & was opened in time to stage the event in 1925
Another permanent Autodrome - Miramas, was completed in time to stage the French GP for 1926
Miramas was never used again, & the event returned to Montlhery for 1927
Yet another circuit staged the French GP, this time Saint-Gaudens, in 1928
Le Mans took over again when the event returned in 1929
Pau, a street circuit, became yet another French GP host, in 1930
Montlhery returned to the calendar for 1931
Yet another new location, Reims-Gueux, held the French GP in 1932
Some stability entered the staging of the French GP when Montlhery staged alll the races between 1933 - 1937
Reims-Geuex held the final 2 pre-war Grands Prix to be staged in France, for 1938/39
GP racing returned to the country at Lyon-Parilly, in 1947
Reims-Geuex again staged a double consecutive French GP, for 1948/49
The same circuit staged another 2 consecutive races, now under official F1 regulations, for 1950/51
Rouens-les-Essarts became yet another French circuit to hold a GP, for 1952
Reims was due to hold another 4 consecutive races between 1953 - 56
However, the tragedy at Le Mans, now a 24-hour endurance event for 1955, caused the GP that year to be cancelled...
Rouen-les-Essarts & Reims staged the ensuing French Grands Prix, until yet another new venue, Charade, was used for 1965
Somewhat surprisingly, maybe, Le Mans returned to the calendar, in a reduced length, the Bugatti-circuit, for 1967
Paul Ricard with its long straight, staged its first French GP in 1971
Dijon-Prenois became yet another host for this historic race, in 1974
Magny-Cours became the only long-term French GP host in 1991 - staging the event continuously until 2008
Since then, in the harsh commercial world of F1, France has lost its place on the World Championship calendar - an extraordinary development for the nation that invented GP racing...
However, the Monaco GP is now regarded as France's F1 showcase...Related to:
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Maritime Alps - Via Ferrata
Fancy an excellent via ferrata experience in the Maritime Alps?
Not far form Montecarlo, to the north, I can recommend the following:
For beginners - Des Canyons, Lantosque
Extremely difficult - Peille - Via Ferrata]
Although there are a number of other via ferratas in the Maritime Alps region, the two above constitute the easiest and the harshest and they both guarantee excitement in a beautiful environment.
The one in Lantosque can be suitable for accompanied kids, the one in Peille certainly not.
Rental of the mandatory safety equipment is available at both locations.
Equipment: WARNING: Do not attempt if inexperienced and never go alone or without proper safety equipment.
Via ferratas do require guidance and are a good approach to the vertical world.
Ratings of a via ferrata range from easy to extremely difficult for a number of factors including exposure, length and phisycal effort. Some routes are easliy accessible while others are located in remote areas and this greatly affects rescue practice in case of accidents.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
Sports fans at the founding of the Olympics
Sports is everywhere a way of life here, its part of the social network and clubs plays a dominant role more so than other countries I have lived. France was the driving force behind the establishement of the Olympics games unde Baron de Coubertin, and the propulsion of the football:soccer Champions league ,as well as other disciplines.
Some of the major sports you can find here are Football(soccer),Rugby, Cycling, Tennis, Basketball, Handball, Motorsports. The two biggest are football (mostly from central to north regions) and Rugby (mostly from south, southwest regions).
Some webpages to see French sports news and games are:
Some specialise magazines
http://www.topmercato.com/ (market players in sports)
Some national federations
http://www.letour.fr/ (tour de france)
http://www.alstom.opendefrance.fr/index_opendefrance.aspx (open de france golf)
http://www.rolandgarros.com/index.html (Roland Garros tennis open)
http://www.fft.fr/ (tennis france)
http://www.ffbb.com/ ( basketball france)
And sport close to me that is played here and the French Champion is from Rouen, and also Vice Champions of Europe, the Rouen Huskies.
Equipment: This is for expectator sports but if you bring your own it will do too. However, why bother with the airfare ,better rent them here in la Belle France.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Skiing and Boarding
Le Tour de France
The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world and is considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports. The Tour starts in the first week of July every year and lasts for approximately 3 weeks. The race was first staged in 1903 and passes through nearby countries.
Running from Saturday June 30th to Sunday July 22nd 2012, the 99th Tour de France will be made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages, nine of them in the mountains and will cover a total distance of 3,497 kilometres.
July 2012Related to:
Tour de France
Going to the Tour de France was a great experience. You get to see some of the top atheletes in the world, you get exercise (by hiking to the top of the mountains), you meet all types of people from all over and you see the sights of the part of France you travel to. I saw the Alps & Paris stages of the 2004 Tour and got to see some of the most beautiful mountain vistas and a beautiful city.Related to:
- Road Trip
The Greatest Football team, well in France anyway is Olympique de Marseille. If your a neutral and want to see a great game, and your in Marseille its a must to go to Stade Velodrome to see a match.
Youl spend your time being entertained by the fanatical supporters called "les Marseillais". Its a great party atmosphere, better than any other football venure in France
Hike to Eze-Village
The Cote d'Azur, also internationally known as the French Riviera, is a great location for hikes in a balmy environment. One of these is the moderate climb to the perched medieval town of Eze-Village from Eze-bord-de-Mer. Along the Chemin Nietzsche trail, elevation change is about 360 m (1,200 ft) from sea level to destination. Summer months might be too hot although the trail is partially shaded by trees and the typical fragrant Mediterranean bush vegetation. Great views along the way and interesting perched village to visit after the 60-90 minutes walk to get there. Assume about half of it for the descent.
Eze-bord-de-Mer is easily accessible by train and bus service. From Nice or Montecarlo, take bus No. 100. The trail is signposted and starts some 100 m (330 ft) or less east of the bus stop.
Schedule for No. 100 bus is available here:
Equipment: Good shoes, not necessarily hiking boots for the trail quality is good. Adequate clothing, hat, sunglasses.
Take liquids with you as there's no water can be found along the way.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
You may have seen it on TV or in a French movie and did not understand the rules or you may actually have never heard of it. La pétanque is often considered as a "sport" of South of France, though it is played in the whole country.
It is a sport played in 2 teams of 3-4-5 people (not a definite number when you play with your friends, and I dont know what is the professional definite number of players). Each person has 2 balls. One person throws the "cochonnet", a smaller wood or plastic ball. Then, the goal is to be the nearest of the "cochonnet" by throwing your other balls. Easy rules.
La pétanque is mainly played by middle age and older people. It is a "convivial" game, where people enjoy being together.
There are very few professional players.
Tour de France
The Tour de France is a grueling test of human endurance, a 3-week 2,175-mile (3,500km)race stretched over 21 stages, 9 of them in the mountains... But in somes way the modern Tour is easier than past races... In the early 20th century, competitors pedaled the dirt roads of France thru the night on fixed-gear bikes, evading human blockages, route-jamming cars and nails placed on the road by fans of other riders... Between stages, teams feasted on banquets and champagne; before climbs, they fortified with cigarettes...
The race was the brainchild of Henri Desgrange, a Parisian magazine editor who launched it in 1903 with 60 riders in a bid to to boost circulation... It worked: Tour coverage helped Desgrange's magazine boom, and the race soon became more popular than he could have dreamed... With fans lining the roads to see riders up close, by the 1920s the Tour included more than 100 cyclists from throughout Europe...
Equipment: But as the competition grew fiercer and the race more commercialized, champagne and nicotine gave way to more effective and insidious performance boosters... In 1967, British rider Tom Simpson died midrace after taking amphetamines, prompting the event to adopt drug-testing... In 1998 authorities disqualified the Festina team after finding the red blood cell-boosting drug EPO in their car... The winner of the 1996 race, Bjarne Riis, admitted in 2007 that he had used EPO, just months before Floyd Land became the first Tour winner stripped of his title on charges of using synthetic testosterone in 2006... The Tour now tests athletes rigorously - stage winners are screened daily - although the victor will still be allowed a sip of champagne...
by Kate Pickert (The Times ~ July 14, 2008)Related to:
Nice - Ironman
The French leg of the Ironman craziness takes place yearly in Nice during the second half of June.
Thousands of athletes from around the world take part to the massacre race that requires 3.8 Km swim, 180 Km cycling and a full 42.195 Km marathon. All of these, of course, in a row. These guys don't seem to be human, and I have a hard time thinking of how they can train and attend these competitions around the world. Whatever their results, I can't do anything but bow to these extraordinary men and women who bring their bodies to the limit and beyond!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
The world cup 1988
Well, everyone knows that France held the world cup, and won it here, in La Stade du France, in 1998. Wow, what a night! I would have loved to have been in Paris that night! Le Champs-Elysées packed with fans screaming for, 'Les Bleus'.. The hairs were just standing on the back of my neck watching Paris on TV that night, it was so magical!
I was glued to the TV everytime France played at this world cup and it was the icing on the cake when they won. I jumped up and down shouting with glee! My old man called me a, 'Froggy b*tch,' it must be because England played crap I reckon.
I thought that Christophe DuGarry was the best player there, I think he's really cute and I'll never forget his sweet little smirk after his nose got broken for the second time in that world cup, what a great player he is!
Balls ... footballs of course! lolRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Arts and Culture
Tour de France
The Tour de France is a famous cycle race held annually in France every summer. I've followed the race ever since Stephen Roche became the first Irish winner back in 1987. In recent years the race has been dominated by the American cyclist Lance Armstrong and it has also become quite controversial following the suspension of Floyd Landis, the 2006 winner, on drugs charges. The Tour is one of cycling's most gruelling events and much of the race takes place in the mountains.
World Cup '98
France hosted the world cup in '98 and I was lucky enough to be working there at the time. The atmosphere was incredible, especially the night when France beat Brazil 3-0 in the final. All through the month there was lots going on and I've so many fond memories of that summer including a Scottish bagpipe concert in our pub, England losing to Argentina on penalties and the night of the final when France took the cup and I had to work until 5am!
Kayaking - Gorges de l'Ardeche
North of Avignon, the Ardeche river has carved a canyon on its way to the larger Rhone river.
It's a perfect stretch of river where beginners can try a canoe or kayak adventure on their own. I did it three times and it was fun. Along the left bank there are several campsites and locations for vessel rentals. Road D290 takes to Vallon Pont d'Arc where an interesting tall natural bridge hangs over the waters. Here are many rental locations but another chance is to stop downstream in St. Martin d'Ardeche. If you rent here you can avoid the drive and let the organization take you aboard vans up to the starting point. Two-seater canoes and single kayaks are equipped with plastic barrels meant to be watertight. It is highly recommended to place your stuff inside plastic bags prior to put it into the barrels. Total paddling distance is 36 km (23 mi) and most people do it in two days to enjoy a few beaches along the stream. There are two areas about middleway for your own tent pitching in exchange for a small fee. If you take this adventure during summer weekends you can expect to join hundreds of people! The shallow and warm waters are ideal to take beginners and families through a few minor rapids, fun for all is for granted! Be aware that the last stretch goes through a nudist area.Related to:
- National/State Park
Le Tour - more cycling than is good for you!!
The famous Tour de France cycling race takes place each July throughout France ...and Belgium ...and England in 2007!! Around 200 international bike riders cycle over 2000 kms including several days in the high mountains of the Alps and Pyrennees. The competitors are some of the fittest people around with massive hearts, thighs and a supreme ability to block out the pain of two weeks continual riding.
There are many hundreds of thousand of spectators that line the route to watch the riders pass by. However, a 20 second rattle of pedals and the main pelaton (bunch of riders) passes very swiftly. Fortunately there is a big build up to the event - the sponsors throw FREE hats, drinks, sweets etc into the crowd. Each team has a fleet of vehicules, often disguised as water bottles, squirrels and other team mascots. The riders are followed by their support vehicules with spare bicycles and other parts - this can be a daunting sight in itself!!
I don't think the French are too impressed with their own cyclists - between 1999 and 2006 the overall winner has been an American.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Mountain Climbing
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