Challenge Family racing returns to France’s Côte d’Azur this weekend for the inaugural Challenge Cagnes-sur-Mer as athletes take on the challenging course set in the foothills above Nice and along the Mediterranean shoreline.
Heading the men’s field is multiple long and middle distance champion, Rudy von Berg (USA), who is no stranger to this part of the world having taken out the win in Nice a year ago. Athletes intent on stopping his race to the top include Frenchmen, William Mennesson whose recent results include a second to von Berg in Nice plus second at Challenge Sanremo, and Kevin Maurel as well as Australian Nicholas Free.
The women’s race promises to be a closely fought battle with Giorgia Priarone (ITA) and Imogen Simmonds (SUI) with a PTO ranking of 45th and 49th respectively. While Priarone is yet to claim a win in her professional career, she is no stranger to the podium. Simmonds meanwhile not only took the win at Challenge Peguera Mallorca last October but also has seven other titles to her name over the 113km distance. Also in the mix is Justine Guerard (FRA) who came second at the inaugural Challenge Sanremo.
Challenge Cagnes-sur-Mer brings a true celebration of triathlon to the French Riviera with both a standard and middle distance events. The start gun will go off at 7:00am on Sunday 11 June with the pro men, followed by the pro women and then age group athletes in a mass start off the Hippodrome Beach. Athletes will then head for the 96km bike out into the foothills above the Mediterranean and the majestic and varied back country of Vence, St Paul de Vence and the Col de Vence of Paris-Nice fame, rising from sea level to just under 1,000m! In contrast, the 21.1km run is completely flat as it follows the coastline, lined with spectators throughout creating a festive atmosphere.