Writing the next chapter: Cordier relishing Nice and Kona partnership

Race director Yves Cordier tells us what to expect when the IRONMAN World Championship heads to the French Riviera

News Director
Last updated -

Home favourite Yves Cordier had a famous battle with triathlon GOAT Mark Allen on the Promenade des Anglais at the Triathlon International de Nice in 1992, losing out in agonising fashion in the final 400 metres to the 10-time – and unbeaten – winner of the event.

And 31 years on he will again welcome the world’s greatest triathletes to his home city with the IRONMAN France race director now adding the co-hosting of the IRONMAN World Championship to his portfolio.

A celebrated triathlete (a five-time winner of the Embrunman tops his CV), after retiring he took over the management of what morphed into IRONMAN France in 2005 as well as several other high profile races for the M-Dot brand.

Arguably the highlight so far was the successful staging of the 70.3 World Championships in Nice in 2019 but the news that the IMWC will be co-hosted by Nice alongside Kona is another hugely significant step.


‘Writing the next chapter’

We caught up with him to get his reaction and it’s clear straight away just what a big deal this is, despite his background and the array of global sporting events Nice will be hosting in the next couple of years.

Yves Cordier, Director of IM France, Nice and IM 70.3 Nice (Photo by Tullio M Puglia, Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Yves Cordier in his beloved Nice [Photo by Tullio M Puglia, Getty Images for IRONMAN]

He told us: “There’s a lot of emotion having the IRONMAN World Championship in Nice.

“I started in triathlon 40 years ago, have worked with IRONMAN for 20 years and it’s been quite a journey.

“We hosted the IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds in 2019 and it’s a great team here – but we’re looking forward now to writing the next chapter. We will be doing everything we possibly can to make this a great race and event in eight months – and for the next four years.

“The four years gives us a great opportunity to create a new story – Hawaii and Nice.”


Heading for the hills

The IRONMAN France formula has been a successful one – and very different to Kona. And that will now be the foundation for the IRONMAN World Championship for the men on 10 September.

Cordier explained: “For the moment we have exactly the same course. On the swim we have the possibility to change but the bike will be the same in general and the marathon will be on the Promenade des Anglais with four loops.

“I think the swim won’t be too different to Hawaii – a relatively flat ocean swim – but for sure everyone is thinking about the bike.

IRONMAN France photo credit Jan Hetfleisch, Getty Images for IRONMAN
The territory that awaits in September [Photo credit: Jan Hetfleisch, Getty Images for IRONMAN]

“We have 2,400 metres of elevation so the climbing and descending is a real test. It will be great for those who can push hard on the bike – and the spectators.”


Frodeno in Nice?

Nice’s opportunity came about after IRONMAN confirmed its commitment to dedicated race days for men and women, followed by the Kona community making it clear that separate days wasn’t an option there going forward.

And Cordier intends to make the most of it, telling me: “Sport is changing all the time and I think it’s very important for triathlon to do that and Nice offers something different.

“For sure we need to have two days, with the races on separate days. It’s not possible in Hawaii.

“There are people in Europe for whom it’s very expensive to go to Hawaii but now they have an additional IRONMAN World Championship location – and remember that every two years, both options are available.

“We have the experience with the 70.3 Worlds of separate days and it’s a step-by-step process – we now have the capacity to do that at IRONMAN distance.”

And one final question for now – can modern-day GOAT Jan Frodeno be tempted to follow in Mark Allen’s footsteps and head to Nice in September, even if it’s not his beloved Kona?

IRONMAN World Championship
Will Frodeno attempt to add Nice to his Kona triumphs? [Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN]

No one would be happier to see him there than Cordier: “For sure there’s a new generation but he’s an Olympics Games winner, a multiple World Champion at 70.3 and IRONMAN in Hawaii. Everyone likes Jan and I very much hope Jan Frodeno comes to Nice.”

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Anne Haug wins IRONMAN Lanzarote 2024
Anne Haug bounces back with SENSATIONAL season opener at IRONMAN Lanzarote
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
India Lee (GBR) and Kyle Smith (NZL) celebrate together at the finish line in Samorin.
Victorious India Lee and Kyle Smith react to course record breaking day at The Championship
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Men Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times for Kyle Smith, Joe Skipper and more
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Women Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times after emphatic India Lee win
India Lee (GBR) took the win at The Championship 2024.
The Championship 2024 women’s results: India Lee takes back-to-back titles and breaks her 2023 record
Kyle Smith took a memorable win at The Championship 2024.
The Championship 2024 men’s results: Kyle Smith smashes the course record with incredible win
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...