Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Montjuic, the Olimpic mountain in Barcelona

Palau de Sant Jordi
Marathon door Olimpic Stadium
Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys
Montefusco Cycling
Estadi Olimpic
(Pictures Sergi Ros de Mora, www.rosdemora.com)
Montjuic is a very special place for people living in Barcelona and passionate of sports.
Obviously the main thing to visit is the Olimpic Stadium. We will never forget the Olimpics in 1992. Already part of the best history of this city, Barcelona. Note also that beside the Stadium it is the Olimpic Museum Joan Antoni Samaranch. It is worth a visit.

Need to know that the Olimpic Stadium was built in 1927, inicially for the World Exhibition in 1929. With not much use, the stadium was deteriorated in the 70's and 80's till the Olimpics were given to Barcelona and the Stadium was rebuilt. Close up was built Palau de Sant Jordi, a nice multisport center (see picture) where have been played a Davis Cup final, a Final Four Basketball finals, and many many concerts...
But for cycling fans and passionates, Montjuic is also a very special mountain.

The Cycling World Championship took place there in 1973 and 1984. Both were great Championships. In 1973 the winner was Felice Gimondi for Italy, in front of his 3 mates in an imperial breakway: Luis Ocaña, Freddy Maertens and Eddy Merckx. Incredible race. In 1984 the winner was Claude Criquielion for Belgium, ahead of italian Claudio Corti and canadian Steve Bauer.

Being so close of the city center, in its steep slopes took place the Escalada a Montjuic, from 1965 till 2008, always at the end of the european season, a kind of farewell season race. A celebration of cycling with many people supporting the riders. Since then, the economic problems for the organisation made the race disappear. Recordman of the race stays Eddy Merckx, with six victories.

Other sports are present in the Olimpic Mountain: Swimming Pools, Rugby fields, Climbing, etc. A mountain married to sports.