Every year there are any a number of marquee sports events that attract huge crowds and which translate to massive accolades for the winners. Events like Wimbledon, The Open, the Monaco Grand Prix, The Ashes, The Tour de France and The World Series come to mind. Tickets sell fast and early and they cost fortunes. But there are a number of similarly spectacular events that garner slightly less attention, even though they are of a similar standard to the bigger name events. If you are looking for an incredible sport related experience and you want something a little less traditional, try some of these for size.
The Cycling Cinderella
First raced as long ago as 1909, the Giro d’ Italia is a cycle race that doesn’t attract as much attention as its more famous French counterpart. Despite the lack of attention this multi-stage race does not lack in history or scenery and the quality of the racing and the intensity of the action is as fierce as what is found in France. The bulk of the Giro takes place in Italy but from time-to-time it branches out into neighbouring countries. Most excitingly though it has several days spent in the Italian Alps where the stages as gruelling as any found elsewhere in the cycling world.
A Soweto Derby is the African equivalent of Glasgow’s Old Firm derby, or Spain’s El Clasico. In short it is a soccer match between two massive local rivals, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates,a game where the impact of the result has repercussions that stretch a long way beyond the field. What makes the Soweto derby so significant is that it happens in South Africa, a country which due to its Apartheid policies was not able to participate in international sport until the early 1990’s. As such the local rivalries grew massively and took on an even greater significance than they otherwise would have had. Typically games will be watched by around 100,000 fans at the venue with millions more enjoying the game in the suburbs surrounding the stadium and on television.
The Winning Formula
In the World of motor racing the Monaco Grand Prix is considered the Ultimate sports race for the fan. The truth is that Monaco is the most glamorous race. Its fancy yachts, street circuit, royal family and opulent wealth make it attractive to the casual observer. But as a race it is far from the best circuit for things like over-taking and actual racing. Instead, if you are looking for something less mainstream but equally enthralling try the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa Francorchamps track. First raced in 1925 the Belgium Grand Prix is loved by drivers and fans due to the expansive nature of the track, the beautiful terrain through which the cars race, its unpredictable weather and the high speed of the course. A weekend watching racing in Spa might leave you a tad deaf, due to the volume of the car’s engines and your proximity to the track, but it will definitely leave you enthralled and wanting to watch more.