IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, has announced that the right to host the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon has been awarded to Nice, France. The event will take place on 7-8 September 2019, and will be the first time IRONMAN holds a world championship event in France.
In addition, IRONMAN announced that a brand new IRONMAN 70.3 event will be held in Nice on 16 September 2018 leading to the world championship event a year later; this qualifying event will then continue in 2020 as part of the IRONMAN 70.3 European Tour.
As the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes on the French Riviera in the southeast coast of France, Nice first hosted an IRONMAN event in 2005 and since then has been one of the most popular locations on the IRONMAN race circuit. The world championship is the pinnacle event in the IRONMAN 70.3 Series, and with the event’s global rotation that began in 2014, it showcases the best venues IRONMAN has to offer around the world.
“The successful growth of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship since its global rotation began in 2014 can be attributed in large part to Diana Bertsch, the world championship team she established, the host cities, and the collective determination to create an event that captures the hearts and minds of our athletes,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN.
“With the origins of the popular Nice triathlon, which set the stage in the region, this is the next evolution of this extraordinary event and brings Europe back to the forefront, with a history of culture, sport and scenery that is the perfect mix for IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship athletes.”
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event expects to attract more than 5,000 athletes from over 100 global qualifying events in locations such as Austria, Australia, China, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and the Americas.
With its mix of old-world opulence, year-round sunshine and seaside location, Nice is the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Azur and the fifth-largest city in France. A magnet for beachgoers and culture-seekers since the 19th century, this coastal city has markets, an enticing old town, glorious architecture and a wealth of high-end restaurants. With one of the largest international airports in France located just minutes away from the city, Nice is easily accessible and welcomes over 5 million visitors every year as one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world.
Beyond the beauty of the area, IRONMAN adds that Nice also offers a rich culture built by some of the greatest painters, writers and musicians the world has known… ‘With outstanding cuisine and culture, Nice embodies all the benefits of a historic coastal city. If you really want to soak up the Riviera vibe, there’s no better place.’
“It is with great pride that our city will host this international competition for the first time in France, with a sport that is particularly well established in Nice,” said Christian Estrosi, President Region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. “Since 1982, our city has organized world-renowned triathlon events, held in an exceptional setting with a truly unique course. This will undoubtedly be a momentous occasion for all triathlon enthusiasts and I welcome everyone to enjoy the beauty of our city.
“Nice is now recognized as a great host city for major events of international recognition. This dedication to staging events is an essential asset for the development of economic activity. Each year, IRONMAN brings €4 million in economic revenue, and I am convinced that this new event will once again strengthen our attractiveness as a host city and boost our local economy.”
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is part of a week-long festival that will include a range of lifestyle events for the community and visitors to enjoy.
“With IRONMAN France, our French team lead by Yves Cordier has created one of the best IRONMAN events in the world, as voted by athletes in the IRONMAN Athletes’ Choice Awards,” said Hans-Peter Zurbrügg, Managing Director for IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It is only fitting that the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been awarded to Nice and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. Both the city and region offer easy access, a stunning backdrop for the event, and exceptional tourism destination for friends and family. We look forward to welcoming athletes from all over the world to this amazing location.”
The event will incorporate a swim in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea, a bike course that passes through villages and mountains, and a run course along Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront.
“Ever since competing as a professional athlete in the 1989 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, it has been my dream to bring a world championship event to the city and region I call home; that dream is now becoming a reality,” said Yves Cordier, Managing Director, IRONMAN France. “I would like to extend my gratitude to the City of Nice and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur for their loyalty and trust in our team. We are ready to welcome the world to Nice!”
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. The 2015 race was held in Europe for the first time, in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria. In 2016, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship shifted to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time – in Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast, with athletes representing over 70 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 75-plus.
Prior to the 2019 edition taking place in Nice, the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is taking place on 9-10 September 2017 in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will travel to Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa on 1-2 September 2018.