There are many facilities that need to be repaired, equipped and new sports facilities created. In 2022, a synthetic field, a gym and a cyclocross on the Guitardie will grow out of the ground.
The sport plain is getting better and better to bear its name. By the end of the year, several projects for the development of new sports facilities should be implemented on this territory of 18 hectares.
The synthetic turf pitch for football and rugby will be delivered in the spring. This allows it to be used for 70 hours a week (compared to about fifteen on natural turf fields).
Six dressing rooms and a car park will also grow out of the ground around this field. The mayor’s office took the opportunity to build offices for the clubs that will use the turf (SCA and ASPTT) as well as a gym, a second in the city of Albi and another located in the stadium.
Cyclocross by the end of the year
A little further along the Tarn, cyclo-cross will also see the light of day. This 1.8 km course was developed in collaboration with Arnaud Jouffroy, the current coach of the French cyclocross team. The associations Albi vélo sport and Albi triathlon were also involved in the project and were the first to be interested in this equipment (see below). “They were the ones who expressed the wish for a winter training route,” explains sports assistant Michel Frankes. Total cost: 200,000 euros.
“It will be one of the only permanent cyclo-cross events in France,” says Michel Franches. Once the job is done, Arnaud Geoffroy plans to come to Albi to train with his French team drivers, giving the area a national dimension.
Since the municipality is interested in sports of a national and even international scale, one should not forget about the Maziku stadium, which hosts rugby league. In 2022, studies will begin to restore the opposite stand. Work will be carried out in 2023 to prepare for the 2025 Rugby World Cup, during which Albi will host matches.
Finally, the City does not forget its inhabitants. To ride the wave of sports and health that emerged during the health crisis, the mayor’s office wants to increase the installation of machines. The first one will be visible in the Aragonese garden as soon as its development is completed. Part will be for the elderly to make it as accessible as possible for everyone.
“We can’t wait to see cyclocross!”
The Albi vélo sports club has 140 members, most of whom are looking forward to future cyclocross courses. The project started with a “banal” idea, as president Xavier Rouane explains: “Before we trained at Pratgraussals, a few years ago, this site even hosted national competitions. Then, when the work began, we could not get there.”
The town hall then gave him the idea of La Guitardié, a flat piece of land to be developed. “I contacted Arnaud Jouffroy, two-time world champion, who was hoping for it. He imagined it based on familiar cyclocross locations,” explains the club president. “The goal was for the instrument to be approved for national and international competitions,” continues Xavier Rouanet. “We would like to host the Coupe de France again in a few years.”
Cling triathlon competitions on a secure site
And why not take the French teams under the leadership of Arnaud Jouffroy? “He lives in Montpellier, Albi is not very far away. And Cap Decouvert is a 15-minute walk with all the infrastructure for receiving teams and physical training, ”says the president of the club.
The triathlon club is also interested in the future land located on the banks of the Tarn. “We will be able to connect swimming, cycling and running in one place and in a safe way,” said David Baures, president of the club.
Currently, young people start training in the Atlantis pool, then bike to Pratgraussals, where they finish with a run. The whole logistics is “quite stressful,” the president admits, because cars and pedestrians intersect. “At Guitardié, we will link the three disciplines in real conditions and with complete autonomy.” What fun, free spirit.