If you’re looking for an excuse to travel to an exotic destination and really feel like part of the local population, then booking yourself a trip to one of this year’s sporting events is a great way to do it.

Something about cheering on a local team is a great way to feel like part of a native community and it’s a good method of giving your holiday a focal point. So with that in mind, here’s a selection of some great sporting events to attend this year.

Tour de France

After the excitement that last year’s Tour de France brought to parts of England, the cycling competition returns to mainland Europe this year in an intense competition running from 4 to 26 July.

The first leg of the 102nd tour will visit a choice selection of locations with a starting point in the historic Dutch city of Utrecht before crossing Belgium and the northern coast of France. From there it will visit some beautiful destinations on the south coast of France before heading toward the Alps, and then the final stage will see the cyclists heading through the iconic Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The Ashes

With the recent passing of legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud, this year’s Ashes competition will be highly poignant. The series of five test matches between Australia and England will take place at a series of iconic British cricket grounds including Lords, the Oval and Edgbaston between 8 July and 24 August.

The fearsome Australian squad is looking to repeat the 5-0 thrashing of England in the 2013-14 series with a squad featuring in-form batsman Adam Voges and leg spinner Fawad Ahmed. There’ll be a preview of the Australian team earlier in the year where they tour the West Indies, but it’ll be guaranteed to be yet another fiercely fought sporting event. And if you’re looking to spice up the event a little further, then the betting site Bookies will be offering some enticing tips over the series.

Athletics World Championships

And if you really fancy voyaging further afield for your fix of sporting action, then the 2015 Athletics World Championships in Beijing could be the sporting event for you.

The main event will take place at the legendary ‘bird’s nest’ stadium in Beijing that was host to the 2008 Olympics, and promises the opportunity to witness the very best in athletic action over eight days between 22 and 30 August.

Key events to look forward to include watching the world famous Jamaican sprinters competing in the 100m final on the second day’s activities, as well the gruelling marathon that kicks off the competition’s events on day one.

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