The streets of Aix-en-Provence (Getty Images for IRONMAN)

IRONMAN will add two new events to its 2022 race calendar with the IRONMAN® Pays d’Aix-en-Provence triathlon in France and IRONMAN 70.3® Dresden triathlon in Germany.

The inaugural full-distance race in Aix-en-Provence will be held on May 22 joining the existing IRONMAN® 70.3® Pays d’Aix-en-Provence triathlon, which was introduced as one of the first IRONMAN 70.3 events in Europe in 2011. The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Dresden will take place on July 31, 2022.

“We couldn’t be more excited to add these two new events, each with its distinctive profile and challenges to our athletes,” said Thomas Veje Olsen, Head of Operations for The IRONMAN Group in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Pays d’Aix-en-Provence doubles number events with double the distance

With the most recent addition in Pays d’Aix-en-Provence, France now holds the distinction of being the only European country to feature three host cities with both an IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 event. In addition to Aix-en-Provence, both Nice and Vichy also offer full-distance IRONMAN and half-distance IRONMAN 70.3 races.

The IRONMAN Pays d’Aix-en-Provence triathlon offers a swim in the spectator-friendly Lac de Peyrolles, located in the Northeast of Aix-en-Provence, followed by a bike course through the famous rolling hills of the stunning Provence and Sainte-Victoire Mountain landscapes. Athletes then tackle a four-loop run course that circles the city center, into the Parc de la Torse and finishes in the heart of the city walls in front the iconic fountain of La Rotonde.

Maryse Joissains, President of the Territorial Council of Pays d’Aix and Vice-President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis is delighted with the addition of a full-distance IRONMAN race: “We hosted the first edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Pays d’Aix-en-Provence in 2011 with the dream of growing it into a major sporting event in Pays d’Aix. The additional IRONMAN event announced for 2022 is the reward for our support from the very beginning.”

“IRONMAN is to triathlon, what the Saint-Victoire Mountain ridge is to Pays d’Aix: emblematic. Hosting such a major sports event in this region is a distinction and showcases Pays d’Aix as an attractive and dynamic region. We are very much looking forward to hosting athletes and spectators from all over the world in the years to come,” added Michel Boulan, Vice-President of the Territorial Council and Metropolitan Councilor for Sport and Sports Facilities.

The 2022 IRONMAN Pays d’Aix-en-Provence triathlon will offer qualifying slots to the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship set for October 8, 2022, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. General registration for the IRONMAN Pays d’Aix-en-Provence triathlon will open on September 28, 2021 at 2pm BST.

Dresden adds to rich 800-year history

Almost exactly 1000 km (620 miles) to the Northeast of Aix-en-Provence, the City of Dresden is ready to write its own chapter in IRONMAN history. With a storied and eventful past of more than 800 years, today it is home to more than half a million people, who enjoy its rich and diverse cultural offerings.

Dresden presents a breathtaking mix of meticulously reconstructed historical buildings, that rose from the ashes of World War II – and is considered a baroque masterpiece, earning it the alias ‘Elbflorence’.

Athletes will swim in the backwaters of the Elbe River, cycle through the undulating Elbland and visit the town of Meissen, known for its century-old tradition of producing some of the world’s finest porcelain in its “royal factory”. The course then leads onto the “Elberadweg” – a flat and fast cycle track along the river.

The three-loop run course will be a test for the legs and a feast for the eyes, as athletes are treated to many of Dresden’s most famous landmarks along their way to the city center – the Frauenkirche, Zwinger, Schlossplatz and Augustus bridge, to name but a few. Participants should be prepared for a flair of the dramatic as they cross the finish line, located right in front of one of Europe’s most famous opera houses, the Semperoper.

“We can’t wait to welcome athletes to the beautiful city of Dresden,” said Dirk Hilbert, the city’s Mayor. “We are constantly looking to expand our athletic and cultural offerings and IRONMAN 70.3 Dresden will be a wonderful addition.”

The 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Dresden triathlon will offer qualifying slots to the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland. General registration for the IRONMAN 70.3 Dresden triathlon will open on September 28, 2021 at 2pm BST.