Change of plans: Lucy Charles-Barclay will defend her Ironman World Champion title in Nice

Lucy Charles-Barclay (Picture: Instagram / Holly Charles)

In a special bonus episode of the newly launched Ironman Insider presented by Maurten podcast, 2023 IM World Champion, Lucy Charles Barclay (GBR) has confirmed that she has shifted her race plans to defend her Ironman World Championship title in Nice, France in September.

At the unveiling of the T100 Triathlon World Tour in February, Lucy Charles-Barclay had said “I’m putting everything into the T100 series. You won’t see me racing in Nice this year. I feel that defending my title would be in Kona [in 2025].”

Shifting her attention to the 2024 Ironman World Championship title in Nice, France, as reigning champion, Charles-Barclay will need to validate her spot on the 2024 IM World Championship starting line. She could do so by either completing two Ironman 70.3 triathlons or one full distance Ironman triathlon – which she will aim to do at the Ironman Nice next weekend, on Sunday, June 16.

Speaking to Ironman Insider podcasst host Matt Lieto, from a sun-soaked balcony in the South of France, Lucy Charles Barclay said “I have decided to race Ironman France, which is in a couple of weeks, so I thought I’d come and suss the course before… I’ve been very warmly welcomed to the area.

“There’s no better way of recceing the world championship than doing the whole course pretty much in a race simulation, so to be able to come here, do Ironman France and be able to validate for both the Ironman World Championship, and the IM 70.3 World Championship in one race, it seemed like an absolute no-brainer.”

Earlier this year, Ironman updated its IM 70.3 World Championship Professional Qualifying Policy to expand the validation scope for the event through racing one Ironman 70.3 triathlon or one Ironman triathlon within the 2024 qualifying cycles.

The previous iteration of the policy for eligible athletes required validation to be through racing an IM 70.3 triathlon as full-distance Ironman triathlons did not count towards validation.

Ironman Insider is a new podcast which launched this week, with an opening episode with the reigning men’s IM World Champion, France’s Sam Laidlow. The podcast, which is scheduled to be released bi-weekly, plus bonus episodes, is hosted by former professional triathlete and IM commentator, Matt Lieto.