Category Archives: Sport

Barcelona F1 Grand Prix

Happy 100th

Barcelona once again features in the international sporting calendar with a significant anniversary as the Formula 1 Grand Prix comes to town for the Spanish GP, marking the start of the European leg of the season.

1913 Barcelona Grand Prix

1913 Barcelona GP

First held in 1913 in Madrid and won by Spanish driver Don Carlos de Salamanca in a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (!), the event draws in F1 followers from around the world to experience the high-octane race on one of the more challenging circuits, the Circuit de Catalunya, at Montmeló, north of Barcelona, where it has been held since 1991.

The Spanish Grand Prix was suspended with the Civil War and was not reinstated until international sanctions against the Franco régime began to be lifted in the 1950s with Barcelona hosting it briefly at Pedralbes and then at Montjuic, alternating with the Jarama circuit outside Madrid.

Since Fernando Alonso began to climb up the championship league, Formula 1 has gained many new adepts in Spain and there is an enthusiastic following, accompanied unfortunately by hostility to his British rival Lewis Hamilton, who was subjected to racist abuse at the Barcelona circuit a few years ago. Barring that, local supporters contribute a festive feeling to the event and, with the centenary celebration and with the Spanish GP alternating between Barcelona and Valencia from now on, this is a great occasion to experience the sport first-hand if you are in the city.

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Tennis – the Barcelona Open

Waiting for Godó

It’s not Wimbledon, but the Comte de Godó Cup, part of the ATP Masters World Tour, drawing to a close in Barcelona this weekend with its final on Sunday, provides some first-class tennis entertainment if you’re in the city this time of

Barcelona Open

Barcelona Open

year. It is played at the Reial Club de Tennis Barcelona, the oldest tennis club in Spain (founded in 1899) and the cup was instituted 60 years ago this year.

With Rafa Nadal – probably Spain’s most internationally renowned sporting figure outside soccer – ploughing his way back up the ATP rankings on his local turf to pick up his 8th Barcelona title this time round if successful tomorrow, and other top seeded players competing for the title between Monte Carlo and the Grand Slam competitions at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the yearly event is a great opportunity to catch up on a bit of clay court magic.

And  with Barça playing in town, late April offers a great opportunity to combine watching Messi, Villa or Iniesta on the field with enjoyment of high quality tennis and of course the other delights that Barcelona provides for its visitors.

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