As preparations continue for the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon, taking place in two locations for the first time in event history, IRONMAN has revealed the Nice, France course the men’s field will swim, bike, and run in the Côte d’Azur on September 10. The women will continue building on the Hawaiian roots of IRONMAN World Championship racing in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 14.
As a nod to the immense triathlon history that exists in the European birthplace of long-distance triathlon that is Nice, France, the race will be centered around the “Promenade des Anglais”, Nice’s most famous walkway – and an iconic location which has seen some of triathlon’s elite race to victory, from Paula Newby-Fraser to Mark Allen. Adorned by palm trees and overlooking the azure waters, this is where crowds will gather to watch their athletes dive into the Mediterranean Sea from the “Plage des Ponchettes” and ultimately cross the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship finish line.
Beginning with the Mediterranean Sea swim, athletes will enter transition from the Promenade des Anglais and follow a double rectangular out and back course in the water, before embarking on one of the most iconic bike courses in all of the triathlon world. Technical and challenging but rewarding in its beauty, athletes will take in the rooftop villages of Vence, Gourdon and Tourettes-sur-Loup on the ascent, before they cruise down the “Route de Thorenc” and through the “Clues de Gréolières” on the descent, famous for its stunning feature film backdrop scenery.
The flat four lap run course will take runners up and down the glitzy Promenade des Anglais, giving them the opportunity to soak up the Mediterranean Sea and infamous Chaises Bleues (blue chairs) on one side, and the luxury hotels and casinos on the other, while gaining encouragement by the crowds gathered at multiple spectator friendly points.
ROKA SWIM course
The ROKA SWIM in Nice’s ‘Baie des Anges’ or ‘Bay of Angels’ is a 3.8km (2.4 mile) open water swim through blue Mediterranean waters. Athletes will enter the water from the pebble beach at “Plage des Ponchettes”, just off the Promenade des Anglais, for an in water start and will follow a double rectangular course perpendicular to the Promenade. The swim is known for its clear, azure waters and swimmers will spot stunning views of the coastline and Alpes Maritimes in the background.
FulGaz BIKE course
The FulGaz™ BIKE course in Nice is a one-loop 180.2km (112 mile) bike course that is arguably one of the most spectacular and challenging out of all of IRONMAN races. Starting from T1 at the Promenade des Anglais, the course makes its way directly out of town and up through the hinterland of Nice via the beautiful villages of the Parc Naturel des Préalpes d’Azur. On the way up, athletes will enjoy the Alpes-Maritimes region, offering picturesque views of the Mediterranean Sea. The downhill is steep, requiring strict concentration as athletes navigate down the scenic canyon road, Clues de Gréolières, a famous movie backdrop. While there will be stunning coastline, and charming villages, this course will feature challenging climbs and technical descents with elevation gains of up to 2400 metres.
HOKA RUN course
Get ready for a run lined with spectators from start to finish as the HOKA RUN course spans end-to-end of the iconic Promenade des Anglais. This four loop, 42.2km (26.2 miles) path to the finish will take runners alongside the famous beach clubs, the Chaises Bleues (blue chairs), and the monumental Negresco Hotel – all with the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop, before U-turning at the Nice International Airport. With each loop, competitors will experience the energy of the crowd as they tackle the flat, fast course, and push their limits towards the ultimate finish line.
Over the years Nice and the Côte d’Azur have staked a claim as a major sporting destination, hosting many sports events of a global scale. As the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes on the French Riviera in the southeast coast of France, Nice became the birthplace of long-distance triathlon in Europe in 1982 when it first hosted the “Triathlon International de Nice”. From 1994-2002, Nice was host to the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships five times. The triathlon became an IRONMAN® event in 2005 and Nice has been one of the most popular locations on the IRONMAN race circuit, hosting both the IRONMAN France races, IRONMAN 70.3® Nice France races, as well as hosting the pinnacle event in the IRONMAN 70.3 Series, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon in 2019.
What they are saying about the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship course
Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President, World Championship Events, IRONMAN, commented: “An IRONMAN World Championship course is one which will deliver an unrivalled experience for our athletes, allowing them to soak up the culture of the host city, while also joining a part of triathlon history. Having visited Nice many times over the past year and having the city as the host for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon, I can certainly say we are tremendously excited for athletes to experience this course for themselves.”
Yves Cordier, Race Director for VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Nice, commented: “Preparations are in full swing as we look forward to welcoming professional triathletes and age-groupers from all over the world to our city in just under three months. Athletes will enjoy the amazing sceneries from the legendary “Baie des Anges”, the Promenade des Anglais and the Nice hinterland. Having raced in Nice multiple times myself, this course really has a ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality, and athletes will have to experience it themselves to realize how truly special it is.
Mark Allen, Six-time IRONMAN World Champion and 10-time winner of the Nice International Triathlon, said: “Some of the most impactful and memorable experiences during my racing career took place in Nice, both on and off the course. From the powdery blue water of the Mediterranean to what has to be one of the most beautiful and yes challenging bike courses in the world to the run along the Promenade des Anglais, Nice is iconic. Then add to that the sparkle and experience every IRONMAN World Championship event brings to a location, mix in the culture of Southern France and the Côte D’Azure, and well, let me just say it’s going to be an IRONMAN World Championship event and experience you won’t want to miss. You will cherish it and remember it forever!”