Top triathletes from across the Globe head to the French Riviera to compete in the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship

September 3, 2019

Over 100 countries, regions and territories represented in Nice, France for 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 7-8

NICE, France / TAMPA, Fla. (September 3, 2019) More than 5,500 of the world’s top athletes are registered to compete in Nice, France on Sept. 7 and 8 at the 2019 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship. IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, has produced this world-class event since 2006, with host cities rotating globally beginning in 2014.

“Nice has long been considered one of the premier triathlon destinations in Europe and we are very proud to finally see a World Championship event reach the shores of the French Riviera,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of The IRONMAN Group. “With more than 5,500 registered competitors, this will yet again mark the largest field in the history of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. We look forward to providing our athletes with an exceptional race experience in this great host location.”

With athletes hailing from over 100 countries, regions and territories, Europe leads the way with 47 percent of the athletes registered to race in the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Following Europe, North America accounts for 26 percent, while South America accounts for 11 percent of the field.

The United States of America is the most represented nation with 1,053 registered athletes, followed by France (568), Germany (444), United Kingdom (416) and Australia (314). Other athletes from countries as far as Bolivia, Egypt, Iceland, Malta, and the Philippines are traveling from around the globe for their shot at the championship.

This year, returning age-group champions from the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on the women’s side include Sibyl Jacobson (USA), Monika Schneider (DEU), Michelle Enslin (ZAF), Liesbeth Leysen (BEL), Nelly Wojtasinski (FRA), and Dexter Yeats (USA). On the men’s side, returning age-group champions include Clive Kennedy-Burn (GBR), Gennaro Magliulo (USA), and Jim Stewart (GBR). Returning to defend his handcycle title will be Jan Tomanek (CZE) as well.

Other notable age-group athletes competing at the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship include:

  • Stephane Diagana (Vence, France) – Diagana is a former world-class track and field athlete who has competed in numerous European and World Championships.
  • Jonathan Drutel (Francheville, France) – Drutel is the first cardiopulmonary transplant recipient to finish an IRONMAN® On top of surviving the transplant process for a new heart and set of lungs, he suffers from cystic fibrosis and diabetes.
  • Marcelo Ehrhardt (Chicago, Illinois, USA) – After struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for many years, Marcelo was pronounced brain dead in 2013 after overdosing. Doctors told his family he would not survive, and if he did, he wouldn’t be able to walk and would have significant organ damage. Amazingly, Marcelo awoke from his coma, recovered through rehabilitation and has since become sober and discovered his passion for triathlon.
  • Laurent Jalabert (Mazamet, France) – Laurent is a French former professional road racing cyclist who competed from 1989 to 2002, with 138 victories to his names. Affectionately known as “Jaja”, he won many one-day and stage races and was ranked #1 in the world in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999. Despite never winning the Tour de France, he did win the Vuelta a Espana in 1995. Jalabert has since become a very successful triathlete competing at multiple IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship events.
  • Michael Latifi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – The 26-year-old from Canada has chosen to take a rather unusual and unorthodox approach to his preparation for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. He has done the Haute Route Pyrenees & Alps 7-Day Stage Races back-to-back, just before he takes on the IM 70.3 Championship this weekend.
  • The von Berg Family (Boulder, Colorado) – The von Berg’s are bringing a new meaning to family competition at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship as four members led by father Rodolph von Berg in addition to his sons Maximilien andRodolphe “Rudy” Jr, and daughter Olympia are racing in the same World Championship event. Rudy has quickly become a top professional triathlete and is one to keep an eye on having spent years growing up in Nice, prior to moving to Boulder. He also won last year’s first edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Nice.
  • Triathlon royalty will be in town for this year’s event, including Mark Allen, Paula-Newby Fraser, Julie Moss and Dave Scott. Julie Moss will be racing as will Mats Allen, the son of Moss and Mark Allen, who is an accomplished triathlete in his own right.
  • Seven IRONMAN employees qualified for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship and will be racing, including: Christine Cogger (Race Director, IRONMAN Canada), Jennifer Gottschalk (Contracts Counsel based in the Tampa, Fla.), Gareth Harrington (Sponsor Account Manager, Cape Epic based in Cape Town, South Africa), Emily Jay (Marketing Communications Coordinator based in Noosa, Australia), Sawyer Lay (Program Coordinator, IRONMAN Foundation based in Tampa, Fla.), Sophie Lysaght (Marketing Programs Director, Oceania based in New Zealand), Thibault Vellard (Regional Director, Asia based in Singapore).

With its mix of old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, and stunning seaside scenery, the city of Nice offers competitors the ideal location for this world-class sporting event. The 1,9 kilometre (1.2 mile) Roka Swim Course takes place on the Quai des Etats-Unis as athletes begin their swim in La Baie des Anges. Next, the 91,3 kilometre (56.7 mile) single-loop Ventum Bike Course leads athletes to the mountains surrounding Nice, including Col de Vence. Most notably there is a 9 kilometre (5.6 mile) climb, at an average incline of 6.6 percent, to reach 962 meters (3,156 feet) above sea level. The 21,2 kilometre (13.1 mile) HOKA ONE ONE Run Course will take athletes on two loops along the world-famous Promenade des Anglais where the finish line is located. All athletes must complete the three legs of the race within the 8.5 cutoff time.

In order to qualify for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, more than 200,000 age-group athletes competed to earn slots at over 100 IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide.

Additional historical facts and stats on the field competing in the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France:

  • Nice is the eighth city in history to host the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship following Clearwater, Fla. (USA) (2006-2009), Henderson, Nev. (USA) (2010-2013), Mont-Tremblant, Quebec (CAN) (2014), Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand (AUT) (2015), Mooloolaba, Queensland (AUS) (2016), Chattanooga, Tenn. (USA) (2017) and Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape (ZAF) (2018)
  • 65 percent of registered participants (3,684 athletes) are male
  • 35 percent of registered participants (2,022 athletes) are female
  • 42 is the average age of all registrants
  • Robert Heins (USA) is the oldest male participant at 80, while Fidel Diaz Sebriano (ARG) is the youngest at 18
  • Sibyl Jacobson (USA) is the oldest female participant at 76, while Isadora Miato Andreatti (BRA) is the youngest at 18
  • 14 athletes will be celebrating their birthdays on event weekend
  • All 50 S. states are accounted for, with the greatest number hailing from California (177), Florida (101), Texas (100), Colorado (84) and New York (70)
  • More than 200,000 registered athletes compete in IRONMAN 70.3 races each year
  • Since the series began in 2006, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been led by Australia (six champions), followed by Germany (five champions), Great Britain (four champions), and Switzerland (three champions). The United States and Spain have had two winners each, while Canada and New Zealand each have one winner
  • More than 3,000 volunteers will help make the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship a success

For more information about the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event, please visit www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/world-championship.aspx.

For more information on the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 brands and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media may contact [email protected].


About the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship

In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity, moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains of Austria to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the race returned to the United States, taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee where it became a two-day event for the first time. In 2018, the event reached the African continent for the first time and was hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. Continuing the rotation, 2019 sees the French Riviera and Nice, France play host to the ever-growing championship event. More than 200,000 athletes participate annually in a series of qualifying races, consisting of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, North America, South Africa and Switzerland. Hosting more than 5,000 athletes from around the world, participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship have ranged in age from 18 to 85-plus. In 2020, the event will move to Taupō, New Zealand where there is a long and storied IRONMAN history that spans 20 years before reaching the Red Rocks of St. George, Utah in the United States in 2021.

About The IRONMAN Group

As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Group

Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.