Challenge Vichy and the Vichy Half are no more – Ironman has acquired organiser Optimum Sports Events, and confirmed that they will be replaced by 70.3 and full-iron races this August.
“We are very excited to add a second full-distance race in France to our Ironman European Tour,” said Thomas Dieckhoff, CEO of Ironman Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Vichy as well as Nice offer two fantastic opportunities for athletes to race in Western Europe and to enjoy the Ironman experience.”
The acquisitions join existing French M-dot races Ironman Nice (being held on June 28, 2015) and Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix (being held in Aix en Provence on May 3, 2015). Ironman 70.3 Vichy will be held on August 29, and Ironman Vichy will take place on August 30.
Vichy is located in the Auvergne region of central France and is renowned for its mineral waters, thermal baths and spas. The first Challenge Vichy was held in 2010 and last year hosted around 2,00 athletes, with Andrej Vistica (CRO) and Gabriella Zelinka (HUN) taking gold.
Both new Ironman races will start with a dip in Lac d’Allier, followed by a bike through hills in the departments Allier and Puy-de-Dôme, finishing with a run through the city centre of Vichy.
The full-distance Ironman Vichy will have 50 qualifying slots for Kona 2016, and there will be a $25k prize purse for the pros. Ironman 70.3 Vichy will have 30 qualifying slots for the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Will you be entering the new Ironman Vichy races? Let us know in the comments!