IRONMAN has launched a new event in its expanding IM 70.3 series with the IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables d’Olonne – Vendée in France set for June 16, 2019. Race registration is now open.
“The City of Les Sables d’Olonne is hugely-excited to be a part of the very select club of destinations to host one of the prestigious and iconic IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon events,” said Didier Gallot, the Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne. “With the help of the warm and welcoming people of this city, as well as the hard-working officials, IRONMAN and the Club des Sables Vendée Triathlon will ensure that this event becomes an exceptional and community-driven experience for all participants and spectators.”
The race will be held in Les Sables d’Olonne’s seaside resort area, in the Vendée region, a hotbed for sporting events in France. The French region features an array of landscapes, from picturesque beaches and jagged coastlines, to pine forests and wetlands. It is seen to be ideally-situated as it is close to the accommodation-rich city of Nantes and its international airport.
“The production of IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events in France has been incredibly important to the foundation of IRONMAN in Europe, dating back to the early says of the company,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director for IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “With the hosting of the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, as well as our other events in Nice, Vichy and Pays D’Aix, plus the Marathon de Bordeaux, Les Sables d’Olonne – Vendée is a fantastic addition to our endurance line-up.
“We look forward to working with the local community in welcoming a host of athletes from around the world.”
Former IRONMAN World Champion Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium has endorsed the event as the main spokesperson for the local triathlon club. “The charming location of the city, Les Sables d’Olonne, will be enjoyable for athletes of all abilities,” he said. “It is a truly magnificent and memorable setting for an IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon. I truly cannot wait to see it come to life.”
The race itself will begin at the Promenade Clémenceau, with athletes competing in the historic Vendée Globe canal during the 1.9km (1.2-mile) swim course. Spectators will also benefit from easily-accessible viewing positions on the city’s docks.
The competitors will then leave the Vendée Globe Plaza to race through the Olonne forest on a 90km (56-mile) bike ride, taking in the French countryside that will also offer a serious challenge. After transitioning at the fishermen’s harbour, all athletes will start their 21km (13.1-mile) half-marathon on the rockfill/remblai des Sables d’Olonne.
Competitors will run three loops of this promenade, whilst also taking in the Tranchet Lake. Athletes will finish the race at the end of the rockfill in the centre of town.
IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables D’Olonne – Vendée will host a professional race with a total prize purse of US$15,000. The event will also offer two professional slots and 75 age group slots for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice.