Between 7th May and 12th November, 2017, Orienteering will be in focus in seven major European cities. Bringing together the efforts and interests of Paris, Antwerp, Bristol, Treviso, Porto, Barcelona and Bilbao, the 4th edition of the City Race Euro Tour puts sport and tourism once more hand in hand.
Paris was the venue chosen for the inaugural presentation of the 2017 City Race Euro Tour. Starting in the French capital on 7th May, the event will take in Belgium (Antwerp, 13th and 14th May), Great Britain (Bristol, 10th and 11th June), Italy (Treviso, 17th and 18th June), Portugal (Porto, 22nd to 24th September) with the finish in Spain (Barcelona, 4th and 5th November and Bilbao, 11th and 12th November). “Think hard, run fast, feel good” stands as the motto of these seven major Orienteering events in seven major European cities. The Tour targets everyone, leading competitors and also beginners.
The idea of creating the Euro City Race Tour was the result of a partnership established in 2012 between the organising groups of the London City Race and Porto City Race. The outcome of combining the social and sporting interests proved indeed heartening, and then to decide to extend the invitation to other organisations took only a brief moment. Edinburgh and Barcelona joined Porto and London in the first edition. Krakow and Seville joined the event in 2015 and Antwerp, Malaga, Firenze and Lille were ‘newcomers’ in 2016. With a good recipe for success, the European City Race gives the public and the media visibility to increase the popularity of Orienteering, attracting crowds to applaud runners in an urban environment.
First races in Paris and Antwerp
Held for the first time ever, the Paris City Race called to Montmartre, one of the main tourist attractions in the French capital, 393 competitors from 15 different nations. It was quite unusual to see people running, maps and compasses in their hands, through the little streets, parks, restaurant terraces and stairs, side by side with painters at Place du Tertre or tourists searching for the places where Georges Seurat, Erik Satie Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso lived about one century ago. It was in this nostalgic and, at the same time, life-buzzing atmosphere, that the French Juste Raimbault (CLSG Melun) and the British Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC) were stronger than their opponents, achieving clear victories in the Elite category.
One week later, the third Antwerp City Race attracted to Antwerp’s city centre 273 competitors from 18 countries. The event took place on the Het Steen map, a mix of old and new city centre with a passage on the Quay of the Schelde, towards the castle ‘Het Steen’ and the finish on Antwerp’s main square. In the Men’s Elite race, two of the best Sprint specialists fought hard for the victory, with the Belgian Yannick Michiels (TROL) getting a nearly two-minute win over the New-Zealander Tim Robertson (Fossum IF). In the Women’s Elite, the New Zealander Laura Robertson (Edinburgh Southern OC) was 43 seconds faster than the Spaniard Anna Serralonga (TROL) in taking first place.
Paris City Race, 7th May 2017
1. Juste Raimbault (CLSG Melun, FRA) 1:03:23 (+ 00:00)
2. Fleury Roux (NOSE, FRA) 1:04:34 (+ 01:11)
3. Julien Le Borgne (Quimper 29, FRA) 1:04:43 (+ 01:20)
4. Pierre Boudet (Garde Rép., FRA) 1:05:12 (+ 01:49)
5. Maxime Chabance (NOSE, FRA) 1:08:20 (+ 04:57)
1. Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC, GBR) 57:04 (+ 00:00)
2. Celine Finas (T.A.D., FRA) 1:00:13 (+ 03:09)
3. Francesca Taufer (U.S. Primiero, ITA) 1:03:05 (+ 06:01)
4. Clarissa Ricard Borchorst (AC Beauchamp, FRA) 1:03:49 (+ 06:45)
5. Nathanaëlle Gerbeaux (GO 78, FRA) 1:04:28 (+ 07:24)
Antwerp City Race, 14th May 2017
1. Yannick Michiels (TROL, BEL) 31:42 (+ 00:00)
2. Tim Robertson (Fossum IF, NZL) 33:39 (+ 01:57)
3. Tristan Bloemen (C.O. Liège, BEL) 34:21 (+ 02:39)
4. Tomas Hendrickx (K.O.L., BEL) 36:00 (+ 04:18)
5. Benjamin Anciaux (TROL, BEL) 37:30 (+ 05:48)
1. Laura Robertson (Edinburgh SOC, NZL) 35:19 (+ 00:00)
2. Anna Serrallonga (TROL, ESP) 36:02 (+ 00:43)
3. Miek Fabré (Omega, BEL) 36:31 (+ 01:12)
4. Kim Geypen (Omega, BEL) 37:29 (+ 02:10)
5. Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC, GBR) 40:28 (+ 05:09)
All information can be found at http://cityracetour.org/.
Text and photo by Joaquim Margarido
[See the original article at http://orienteering.org/orienteering-in-focus-in-seven-big-european-cities/. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]