There are many sites to renovate, equip and create new sports structures. In 2022, the Guitardié will feature a synthetic court, weight room, and a cyclo-cross ground.
The plain of sport bears its name more and more. Various projects need to be completed by the end of the year to develop new sports facilities in this 18-hectare area.
The synthetic turf pitch for football and rugby will be delivered in the spring. This allows for 70 hours of use per week (approximately fifteen hours for natural grass pitches).
Around this field, six locker rooms and a car park will also emerge from the ground. The town hall had the opportunity to build offices (SCA and ASPTT) and a weight room for the clubs that would use the turf, as well as the second in the city of Albi and the other in the Stadium.
A cyclo cross by the end of the year
A little further on, a cyclocross along the Tarn will also see the light of day. This 1.8 km long course was conceived and designed in collaboration with the current coach of the French cyclocross team, Arnaud Jouffroy. The Albi vélo sport and Albi triathlon associations, which were the first to deal with this equipment, were also involved in the project (see below). “They’re the ones who expressed a desire for a route to train in the winter,” explains sports assistant Michel Franques. Total cost: 200,000 Euros.
“It will be one of the only permanent cyclocrosses in France,” says Michel Franques. After the works are completed, Arnaud Jouffroy aims to come to Albi to do internship with the riders of the French team that will add a national dimension to this field.
This does not forget the Mazicou stadium, which hosts rugby league, as sports with a national and even international dimension are of interest to the municipality. Work will begin in 2022 to rehabilitate the opposite stand. Work will be carried out in 2023 to prepare for the 2025 Rugby League World Championship, where Albi will host the matches.
Finally, the City does not forget its inhabitants. In order to ride the wave of sports-health that developed during the health crisis, the municipality wants to increase the installation of apparatus. The first will be seen in the Jardin d’Aragon after its development is complete. There will be a section for seniors to make it as accessible as possible for everyone.
“We can’t wait to see the cyclo-cross!”
The albi vélo sports club has 140 members, most of whom are looking forward to the future cyclo-cross course. As President Xavier Rouanet explained, the project started with a “ordinary” idea: “Before we trained at Pratgraussals, there was even a national competition on this site a few years ago. Then when the work started we couldn’t get there”
The town hall then gave him the idea of La Guitardié, a flat piece of land to be developed. “I contacted hopeful double world champion Arnaud Jouffroy. He imagined it from the cyclocross terrains he knew”, explains the club president. “The goal was to have a vehicle approved for national and international competitions,” continues Xavier Rouanet. “We want to host a French Cup again after a few years”
Chain triathlon events on a secure site
And why not host French teams led by Arnaud Jouffroy? “He lives in Montpellier, Albi is not far away. And Cap’Découverte, which has all the infrastructure to meet the teams and make physical preparations, is 15 minutes away”, says the club president.
The triathlon club is also interested in the future land located on the banks of the Tarn. “We’ll be able to safely connect swimming, cycling and running in the same place,” said club president David Baures.
At this time, the young people start training in the Atlantis swimming pool, then cycle to the Pratgraussals, where they will run. The whole logistics is “quite stressful,” concedes the president, because they’re passing cars and pedestrians. “At Guitardié we will connect the three disciplines in real conditions and in perfect autonomy”. What for fun, free spirit.