Race week is coming to a close here in Nice and the male athletes are finishing up their final preparations for the inaugural Nice Ironman World Championships. We head over to the site of the swim start, at the Plage des Ponchettes, to check out the water conditions, the swim start and exit, and see what age-groupers and pros are doing to get ready.
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The Niçois jetlag cure. Early morning risers are rewarded with calm waters and a stunning sunrise.
Pro triathlete Matt Hansen, age 37, dips his toes in the Mediterranean sea. For the pros, the race will definitely not be wetsuit legal.
The 2.4-mile swim at this year’s men’s Ironman World Championship will take place in the placid waters off the Plage des Ponchettes.
Water at the Côte d’Azur the day before race day was 77 degrees F, only one degree above the cutoff to disallow wetsuits. Some racers still prefer to do their pre-race swim in neoprene.
Chris Kenney, 62, from Salt Lake City originally qualified for the race in Kona and was pleasantly surprised when the new location took him to race in Nice, France.
Racers sit in the warm, calm waters of the Baie des Anges just off the rocky beach start in Nice, France.
Daniel Levy 46, from Brazil exits the water in warm morning light in Nice, France.
Most Niçois locals use a safety buoy while open-water swimming.
Craig Patterson (right), 44, from St. Andrews, Scotland, was playing golf on the Old Course last week and will be competing in the Ironman World Championship in Nice, France, on Sunday.
All week, air temperatures have hovered around 85 degrees F—typical for the Mediterranean fall. Many racers will still choose a wetsuit if it is allowed on race day.
This year’s Ironman World Championship swim course will be a two-loop 2.4-mile “M”-shaped configuration.
Stefan Dachne, 50, from Germany enters the water for his morning swim.
Two athletes wade out of the warm waters on the very rocky beach of Plage des Ponchettes with the city of Nice lighting up in the rising sun.
Calm conditions typically prevail in the Baie des Anges, but the seas were unseasonably rough earlier in the week. Closer to race day, the water has been flat and placid.
An athlete wades across the small pebbles at the Plage des Ponchettes to check out the conditions of the IMWC swim course.
The beach alongside the IMWC Nice swim course is covered in midsized pebbles and stones, rather than sand.
Athletes carefully make their way across the stony shore at Plage des Ponchettes to avoid any pre-race injuries.
Athletes inspect the stony shore—on race day, the tricky pebbles will be covered by hard carpet.
Mervin Santiago, 31, and Alex Isip, 50 both from the Phillippines get in some final swim workouts before the big race.
Though this year’s event in Nice is a men’s only affair, plenty of women were in town to support, spectate, and train alongside the men.
Hilton Meneely, a 60-64 age-group triathlete from Belfast, Ireland, warms up before his sunrise swim workout.
Swimmers complete their pre-race routine a few days out from IMWC Nice.
Though the rocky ground surface is covered in pebbles and stones, the water off the coast is a beautiful clear green/blue hue.
Alain Caignard, 42, from Barcelona (left) gets help zipping up from his friend Moses Jimenez (right), 38, from Venezuela.
Swimmers pick out sighting points along the coast in preparation for Ironman World Championship, Nice.
Steve Guy, 47, from Melbourne, Australia will be competing in his 17th Ironman.
Brazilian pro Andre Lopes, age 31, prepares for his sunrise swim workout.