i just received this via email, its posted here verbatim without commentary
A LETTER FROM ANDREW MESSICK, CEO OF IRONMAN
Two months ago we announced our acquisition of the endurance division of Lagardère Sports—which includes more than 20 races throughout three continents and eight countries - including the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds. Today, we are excited to share that the transaction is complete and IRONMAN, a Wanda Sport Holding company, now officially owns this portfolio of events, which includes five International Triathlon Union (ITU) races, four marathons, and six road cycling events. With the addition of Wanda Sports Holdings events including the B2RUN, Tour de Suisse Challenge and the Happy 10K runs in China, more than 680,000 participants experience the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s portfolio.
The iconic IRONMAN series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 250 events. In 2016, we will have more than 125 IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races spanning six continents and 33 countries. This year we will have inaugural events in China, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Indonesia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Poland, Croatia and Turkey.
For 38 years, IRONMAN has been the leader in triathlon; with the acquisition of Lagardère Sports’ endurance division, we are expanding into cycling and continuing our growth in running. IRONMAN will now own and operate ITU World Triathlons in Hamburg, Leeds, Abu Dhabi, Stockholm, and Cape Town; with our current ownership of the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast, we now own and operate six of the nine events in the ITU World Triathlon Series. IRONMAN and the ITU have worked together on unified and global standard rules for triathlon, as well as several athlete development initiatives, so we are pleased to further our long-standing relationship with the global leader in international-distance racing.
We are also proud to add a number of Lagardère’s premiere road cycling events to our portfolio. The Velothon Majors series — with events in Berlin, Wales, and Stockholm — offers the opportunity to race alongside thousands of likeminded road cyclists on some of the most stunning courses available. Each course delivers inspiring challenges in the heart of Europe's most vibrant cities. The Hamburg Cyclassics is a unique event that offers an unmatched road cycling experience on completely closed roads. There are three different distances to choose from: 55 km, 100 km, and 155 km, catering to athletes of varying levels.
In addition to these prestigious events, the breadth of racing options we have to offer you has never been greater. In Europe, we are excited to provide two old-world race experiences with marathon courses in Hamburg and Bordeaux. In New Zealand, we welcome the Hawkes Bay International Marathon and Queenstown Marathon to our family (joining the Auckland Marathon) in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. For those of you looking for an adventure, The Motatapu festival and The Pioneer mountain bike events in New Zealand both offer unique and challenging off-road racing experiences.
As a triathlete and avid cyclist myself, I hope to see you on the starting line at one of these races soon.
My very best,
President and Chief Executive Officer