This was our preview of the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship in Nice – you can read a full report on how Sam Laidlow claimed the crown and Jan Frodeno bowed out of professional triathlon.
The pinnacle of the men’s professional long-course season is almost upon us, as the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship in Nice sees the sport’s superstars go head-to-head in what for many is still the holy grail of triathlon.
This year, the men and women race separately, with Nice hosting the men’s race almost a month before the women rock up to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Over the next three years, the venue is set to alternate until at least 2026, after IRONMAN announced at the start of the season their plans to run the race as a dual event.
This Sunday on the French Riviera, all eyes will be on the men and in particular the likes of former World Champions Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange, plus home favourite Sam Laidlow, as a world-class start list take on not only each other but also an incredibly demanding and exciting course.
We have all bases covered with everything you need to know about Sunday’s huge showdown on the Cote d’Azur – including start times, how to watch the race live, a rundown on a stellar field and much more.
Date, start time and how to watch live
The men’s professional race in Nice will start at 06:50 local time on Sunday September 10 from the Plage des Ponchettes, which corresponds to 05:50 UK time. That is 00:50 on Sunday on the East Coast of the United States or 21:50 PST on Saturday September 9.
You can watch the race live right here without leaving TRI247 – just click on the embed below…
The race will also be broadcast live on The IRONMAN Website and also on social media via Facebook Watch on the IRONMAN Now channel, and also via IRONMAN Now on YouTube.
There will be additional pre-race coverage in the build-up to the race with interviews and behind-the-scenes content. The IRONMAN commentary is set to be hosted by Michael Lovato and Dede Griesbauer, with Greg Welch and Matt Lieto adding on-course reporting.
Perhaps more than ever, the IRONMAN Tracker app on your phone / mobile device, alongside the broadcast coverage, is your essential companion to keep up to date with all of the on-course action.
Which pro men are racing at IMWC Nice?
Amongst the leading contenders in Nice are the German duo of Frodeno and Lange, with the former set to retire from the sport following the race. Having enjoyed a long and illustrious career, with an Olympic gold medal and multiple long-course world titles, can Frodeno bow out with yet another victory?
Lange, the often forgotten two-time IRONMAN World Champion, will hope a third title can bring him the respect he deserves, with the former physiotherapist likely to be more than happy to be overlooked in favour of his countryman Frodeno and other leading competitors, before attempting to strike gold on Sunday.
Magnus Ditlev, the Danish giant who took his second consecutive title in Challenge Roth earlier in the season with a record breaking performance will always be seen as a threat, as will last year’s IRONMAN World Championship runner-up Laidlow, who will hope the backing of an adoring home crowd can give him that extra motivation to go one better than last season.
Joe Skipper, fifth in Kona last October, would be an incredibly popular winner as the much-loved Brit searches for the killer combination to unlock his full potential at the biggest race of the year.
Absent from the start list are Norwegian superstars Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt, with defending champion Iden focusing on short-course racing in 2023 and Blummenfelt also reverting back to his roots after a hectic August schedule which saw him win the PTO Tour Asian Open before a tough day out at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
The IMWC Course in Nice
The swim, which takes place in the shallows of the Mediterranean Sea, is effectively a two-lap course with the athletes first completing a 1900m out and back loop before heading around a set of buoys just off the shore for a second loop of 1925m.
Starting from the water off the pebble beach of the Plage des Ponchettes, the course is a total of 3850m and runs perpendicular to the famed Promenade des Angles, with transition situated just off the beach.
Next, the bike course, which has been one of the main talking points heading into this year’s race in Nice, will present a ton of challenges on both the ascents and descents which are very likely to split up the field.
Just one loop of 180.2km, the course makes its way out of the city via the nearby hillside villages, as they start of at an elevation of just 22m and climb to just under 1200m in the mountains for a total elevation gain of 2427m across the length of the ride.
Finally, on what will hopefully be a spectator-lined course from start to finish, the best men in the world will battle it out for the title along the Promenade des Anglais over a marathon which spans the length of the boardwalk.
The four-loop, 42.2km course will head out from transition towards the Nice International Airport, passing sights such as the Negresco Hotel whilst hand-railing the backdrop of the Mediterranean.
Recent IRONMAN World Championship Winners
- 2010: Chris McCormack (AUS)
- 2011: Craig Alexander (AUS)
- 2012: Pete Jacobs (AUS)
- 2013: Frederik Van Lierde (BEL)
- 2014: Sebastian Kienle (GER)
- 2015: Jan Frodeno (GER)
- 2016: Jan Frodeno (GER)
- 2017: Patrick Lange (GER)
- 2018: Patrick Lange (GER)
- 2019: Jan Frodeno (GER)
- 2021: Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)
- 2022: Gustav Iden (NOR)
Prize Money – What’s on offer?
For the men’s race at in Nice, the total prize purse is $375,00, with the race winner earning a whopping $125,000 and the prize pot paying all the way down to 15th position. The prize purse is allocated as follows:
1st – $125,000
2nd – $65,000
3rd – $45,000
4th – $25,000
5th – $20,000
6th – $18,000
7th – $15,000
8th – $13,000
9th – $12,000
10th – $11,000
11th – $8,000
12th – $6,000
13th – $5,000
14th – $4,000
15th – $3,000
Additionally, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not solely from on-the-day performances.
The PTO World Rankings in 2022 saw a total of $2million awarded, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.
In 2023, the distribution of the end of year bonus has not yet been announced, but it has been confirmed that the money will be shared amongst the top-50, instead of the top-100 as it was in 2022.