Monte Carlo: A Glamorous Year In Sport

By on Saturday, January 17, 2015

Think of Monte Carlo and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” will undoubtedly be ringing around your head. It’s the luxurious holiday home of Formula One and one of the most exciting races on the calendar.

The principality has long been a hotbed for sport and 2015 will be no different. It’s the chance for fans to not only watch sport, but live the life of their heroes, shop in the boutiques of La Condamine like Jenson Button, dine out in the finest restaurants like Radamel Falcao, and gamble in the most glamorous casinos like every billionaire businessman that anchors his yacht in the harbour.

Right across the year there’s plenty going on in the tax-free haven, and whether you can make it for the Grand Prix or not, you won’t miss out on a special event when you land on the south coast of France…

Monaco Grand Prix

It’s considered one of the world’s most prestigious races in the world, and for the majority of drivers it’s certainly one of the most convenient. Home for many of F1’s top drivers, Monte Carlo knows what it’s doing when it comes to putting on a race.

The likes of Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, and Graham Hill have raced through the streets of Monaco since 1929 encouraging around 100,000 revellers to watch on while sipping champagne and smelling the burning rubber as Ferraris and McLarens fly through the street. Nico Rosberg will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins in April when the globe’s most opulent event arrives once again.

UEFA Champions League Football

It’s been a while since Monaco had success on the football pitch, but they’re back as one of the top clubs in France and destined for silverware. Leonardo Jardim’s team will face Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League in March, and it’s likely to be a night to remember at the Stade Louis II.

The stadium itself is one of the most interesting on the planet and is just a stone’s throw from the Port de Fontvielle. Former manager Arsene Wenger – who won the league with Monaco in the late 1980s – returns to the city on March 17, but will he be able to conquer?

European Poker Tour Grand Final

The Monte Carlo Casino is one of the most famous buildings in the world. It’s a must visit for tourists, and a must win for poker pros, particularly when it comes to the PokerStars EPT event which touches down every year.

Arriving in late April this year, some of the finest poker players will walk through the doors of the prestigious casino and to battle it out for some of the highest prize pools on the circuit. You can watch and take in the magnificent building, or even take part in the action if you fancy yourself as a player. You can even quality via satellite competitions online, or buy-in directly to the prestigious Main Event and really go Monte Carlo or bust.

Tour de France

Cycling has never been more popular. Following last year’s Tour de France it’s really taken off and the hundreds of bikes will be passing through just a short drive from Monaco.

Approaching the final days of the tour, the Digne Les Bains to Pra-Loup stage is a gruelling climb and has troubled the elite riders in the past. The climb up to the Col d’Allos, the highest point of the route at 2,250m, could have a say in the race for the Yellow Jersey, and the descent into Pra-Loup will see an incredible sprint finish in a town that not only will have plenty of people on two wheels, but skis too.

Monte Carlo Masters

Like the EPT, the Monte Carlo Masters brings some of the biggest names to the city from the world of tennis. Last year saw an all Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka beating Roger Federer on the clay overlooking the Mediterranean, and one man from the Med will want to extend his dominance on the clay, Rafael Nadal.

He won eight titles in a row between 2005 and 2012, and will be desperate to get into the final following a year absence following defeat to Novak Djokovic in 2013.

Monte Carlo Rally

And finally, finishing with motorsport once more, is the Monte Carlo Rally which takes place this month. With almost a brand new route, the rally has been a staple in the principality’s sporting calendar since Prince Albert I inaugurated it in 1911.

Passing through the French Riviera over a four day period, this year the rally sets off from the glamorous city before (like the Tour de France) passing through Digne Les Bains and finishing in St Laurent. The winner’s ceremony takes place outside the Palais Princier de Monaco, and it’s one not to be missed if you’re in Monaco in January.

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