American U23 Champion at Monterrey & Team USA spot for U23 Worlds

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Monterrey.5.3.15

On May 3 I raced the Monterrey CAMTRI Pan-Am Cup in Mexico, finishing 7th overall, 2nd among the U23 field, and first American, earning a spot for the ITU U23 World Championships in Chicago this coming September.

I exited the non-wetsuit swim in 10th, 15sec from the lead, after a violent first 400m due to the narrowness of the canal and caught the first guys really quickly.

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There were about twenty athletes in our lead group. We were to be together on the monotonous bike course for 8 loops, increasing our lead regularly on the pursuers. On the bike, I felt very strong, stayed aggressive and took numerous turns at the head of the pack. The others found the bike hard while I thought it was easy.

Entering T2 in 2nd, I started the run in first place. In past races, lots of guys would overtake me at the beginning but, today, no one passed me in the first 500m. I figured I must be running well. Then a group of 9 formed and led during the first 2,5km loop. During the 2nd loop, the Mexicans Saracho and Perez, followed by the Olympian American Hunter Kemper, broke away and finished in that order despite a wild sprint. At the start of the last loop, our group of 6 scattered. It became a bit hard for me. I felt I didn’t have that extra 1% I had at the Collegiate Nationals to sustain the faster pace, even though I was told that I “looked comfortable”. I also know that my main rival for the U23 spot, Eli Hemming, is far back, which decreased my motivation to hurt more.

I ended up a satisfying 7th, 31sec behind the winner, 2nd U23 in the Americas Championships and, best of all, 1st American U23 which was my goal coming to Monterrey. Thus, I will be selected, for the first time, for the ITU U23 Worlds in Chicago next September with TEAM USA, which makes me really proud.

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Rudy von Berg repeats as USAT Collegiate National Champion

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It is raining this Saturday morning in Clemson, SC where 1300 college triathletes are at the start of the Collegiate National Championship.

Rudy von Berg, the title holder and a Junior at University of Colorado at Boulder, tells it as he lived it: ” Bad weather, grey sky, rainy, 68° water. I have a very good start and settle into a nice rhythm in my new HUUB Archimedes which is really great-feels real fast. 4th out of the lake, 35″ from 1st super swimmer Greg Harper and 25″ from 2nd.

I rapidly catch leader William Jones on the bike along with Off the front Multisport teammate Tyler Rodgers. All 3 of us stay together during the 3 laps of the 25 mile hilly course under a heavy rain, with a strong Tyler Rodgers most of the time up front. Behind, a group containing Jason West and Mike Meehan wasn’t loosing any time.

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We enter T2 with a 50sec lead. I immediately take the lead on the run but I know that Jason West a great runner is close behind.
The 10km course is 4 laps out and back, so I can see that Jason is catching up fast. He will join me at half-way. At first, I felt a bit pessimistic on my chances of victory because usually the runner coming from behind prevails. Also, I know that West won Friday’s Sprint draft-legal race thanks to a 5km run in a smasher 14’38. However, I hang on and stay with him for the next 3 miles at a pretty fast pace. At about 1/4 mile from the finish, a guy on the side of the road shouts “Go for it Rudy”–no joke–so I went.

I thought “do as Mark Allen did against Dave Scott in that famous Kona finish.” I went all out. Jason stayed within 2-4 meters for about 300 meters, then started to drop inexorably hitting a little uphill. I crossed the finish with a 7sec lead. I was really ecstatic because frankly when he caught me, I thought I was racing for 2nd place. But, finally I refused to not win, for after my 2014 victory there was only one option: to repeat as Champion and hold my title. Wahooooo!!

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As icing on the cake, our CU Tri Team won the Nationals Team title for the 6th consecutive time.  On that same afternoon, we also won the Team Mixed Relay Super Sprint Competition, ( 2 girls and 2 guys) where, starting last with a 35sec deficit, I managed to catch the Navy leader to win it on the run.

A very big thank you to everyone that has contributed to an awesome weekend, the CU coaches, CU teammates, great competition, USAT, and to my all-time number 1 supporters my parents and siblings.

In 4 days, I will be heading to Monterrey MEX for the ITU continental championships, qualifier for U23 Worlds.

Thank you everybody

Rudy

 

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6th in Kelowna

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Back in the US after a pretty average month of racing in Europe, I wanted to do well in the ITU Premium Cup in Kelowna, especially with a field not as dense as European Cups. However I was scared that my psoas would bug me once again, after Geneva and Banyoles races where I had psoas cramps, a stomach muscle.

It was a sprint distance and the race venue was pretty nice with the Okanagan lake with its clear waters. I wasn’t tapered at all for this race because the main focus is the Hyvee race for this month and this race was only a sprint. The swim was a little choppy and the main pack stayed together. However 3 strong swimmers including Tommy Zaferes took a good lead out of the water with already 40″ on the pack! That’s a lot. Starting the ride I was sure we were going to reel them in but it never happened. Our chase group of 8 wasn’t working well and we gradually lost another 30″. So starting the run we had 1’15 to catch which was going to be difficult. I concentrated on my breathing and just staying relaxed in order to keep my stomach loose. It went fine and I ran a pretty good 15’28 even though I am going to have to train hard to try and get near to 15’00. The 2 Australian juniors ran very fast 14’50 and managed to snatch the podium. On my side I couldn’t catch the 3 guys in front and finished 6th.

I am satisfied with the race, and I hope to keep on improving on my run for the last few races of the season. Next up are back to back the Hyvee 5150 Championship in a stacked field the 1st of September and the Monterrey ITU Pan American Cup the following week.

Rudy von Berg is 12th at the ETU Triathlon European Cup in Geneva

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A high-level race for the Italian athlete selected by the National Italian Team for the first time this season.

Rodolphe von Berg finished 12th at the Geneva ETU Triathlon European Cup, his second race among the 3 races in his european program. A 12th which is a bit “light” but which still makes him happy by allowing him to climb 48 places in the ITU Points List Rankings.

Ready, set, go. 3 Frenchmen, Pujades, Shaw and Belaubre show off in the swim and take a 30sec lead. Rodolphe exits right behind the Swiss Sven Riederer, bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympics.The bike segment is very challenging. The 3 leaders are swallowed by a pack of about 20 and they stay together until the 4th loop (out of 6) when Rodolphe von Berg makes the decisive attack, catches the Italian Molinari, drops him after half a loop an goes solo until the 2 Swiss Sven Riederer and Ruedi Wild go after him at the end of the 5th loop. Our Rodolphe, in spite of his young age, does not show any deference towards the two older Swiss champions. They will stay together until T2. Rodolphe exits first and starts very hard on the run but cannot hold the rhythm. At the end, he is relatively happy with his 12th place but conscious that he could have done better had it not been for a small mishap during the bike with repercussions on the run.

“I am happy of this 12th place but a little disappointed”, says Rodolphe at the finish line. “As I was attacking on the bike, the tip of the saddle went down, lowering my position and tightening my diaphragm. Thus, I biked the last 9km in an unusual, uncomfortable position. As a consequence, on the 7km of the run, my psoas cramped, and I had to stop for a few seconds, losing 4 spots. When I started to run again, I went all out and made up one spot. But I still lost 30sec overall which cost me a better position”.

Rudy von Berg Back from the States

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The strong Italian triathlete returns to Europe during the College Summer break and will participate in 3 ITU Continental Cup races.

Rodolphe von Berg has brilliantly completed his second year at the University of Colorado in Boulder and also the first part of the 2014 racing season which showed him being very competitive either in the Collegiate races or in the 5I50 Series or at the ITU Ixtapa Continental Cup.

As we know, Rodolphe chose to pursue his university studies in the USA where he was accepted two years ago at the University of Colorado in Boulder, considered the “mecca of triathlon” for the high number of professional triathletes who train there all year around and of former pros who have opened triathlon centres or who manage triathlon squads, as Dave Scott, Simon Lessing or Siri Lindley. It allows Rodolphe to have a unique experience around champions of all eras.

During the first part of the season, Rodolphe has achieved several important results. First, by winning the OD Havasu Triathlon, he arrived, with great confidence, at the USAT National Collegiate Championships which he won showing great determination and mental fortitude. In addition to being the 2014 USAT Collegiate Champion, he helped CuTri, his university team, to win a 5th consecutive Overall USA College Team title. Then, on the 5I50 Series,  he placed 4th in the highly competitive St Anthony’s, 2nd at Memphis in May, 2nd at Mt Tremblant, and 3rd at the Tri-Rock Philadelphia, which gives him the 7th spot on the general 5I50 Rankings, guaranteeing him to qualify for the Final, the Hy-Vee Elite Cup, with a $620000 purse, being held in Des Moines, USA, on August 31.

In the middle of these races, he got an important 5th place at the ITU Ixtapa Continental Cup, allowing him to gain about 120 spots on the ITU Points List, and softening the disappointment of not having been entered in the ITU Dallas PanAM Championships, and of not having been selected for the ITU WC in Huatulco.

3 ITU Continental Cups are on Rodolphe’s European program: Holten, Geneva and Banyoles. His objective is to keep on going up the ITU Points List Rankings, showing that he can be serious contender for the Italian Team.

“Rudy has proved to this point of the season that he has greatly improved his swim and running. The improvements shown in the pool and on the trails have transferred to the racing results. The proof is that Rodolphe has always come in the first group out of the water, and then his run has allowed him to achieve prestigious final places. The bike remains his great strength.” This is the analysis of Andrea Gabba, Rodolphe’s coordinator. ” Rodolphe still has a huge margin of improvement and will be, without doubt, one of Triathlon’s future greats.”

Rodolphe was born in the United States. His father is Belgian, his mother is half Italian and half American and he grew up in France. He has decided to pursue his college education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the mecca of triathlon where during the year, the best triathletes of the world converge to train in a state of the art sport environment at over an altitude of 3000 feet.

Rodolphe has chosen to defend the Italian colors and his coordinator is Andrea Gabba. When he is in the USA, he trains at the Flatiron Athletic Club where Dave Scott coaches swimming. In Europe, on the other hand, he trains at the Olympic Nice Natation Triathlon club in the city of Nice.

Rudy is sponsored by some of the most important companies at the world level: Willier, Powerbar, Rudy Project, Santini, fi’zi:k, Vision, Zoot, Mavic, Campagnolo, Continental. And also by Trispecialist.com and Sordello Cycles. The management, on the other hand, is taken care of by Sport Time.

He races for the Italian club Riviera Triathlon 1992 and for the French club Olympic Nice Natation Triathlon whose president is Yves Cordier.