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.

TriRock 5i50 Philadelphia Race Report

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Rudy-Tri Rock Philadelphia 5I50

I was traveling alone from Boulder for my last race in the States before returning to Europe for the month of July. I got in on Friday in my cozy and good looking Bed&Breakfast. It was 2.5 miles from the race site and right next to Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania campus. That implied good dining opportunities!

On Saturday I went out on the bike for a little 50′ spin. The course is pretty fun, with flat parts and little loops into harder sections, hilly and technical. It was a good mix. And all of it was surrounded by tall, old, healthy green fluffy trees.

So I was excited for that course, even though Cam Dye was racing. We went out with Brooks Cowan another PRO athlete for an easy 15′ swim at the U Penn pool. Pretty relaxed day. Then in the afternoon we had the pro meeting where the girls and in particular Alicia Kaye were asking many questions about the swim because 2 years ago 17 of them (the whole field?) got disqualified because they missed a buoy on the swim. On the other hand the guys were pretty chill as usual.

Our start was at 6:30AM! Early start. I had to wake up around 4AM. I rode with all my gear to transition. I had a new strategy for my race warm-up this time to try and remedy some problems I had in previous races. At the beginning of the bike segments, my gluts and quads were usually burning abnormally, which obliged me to start too slow, and usually do the whole bike too slow. So I thought it was just a warm-up problem. This time I warmed-up mainly on the bike, 25′ of riding before eaving my bike into transition. And it really helped.

We had to take a bus to go to the point to point swim start. After a decent start I found myself in open water in between two “packs” on either side. I went to the right where Andy Potts and Cam Dye were. However they had a few seconds on me. I was pretty much onto their feet but the guy in front of me dropped and so through that I dropped. We exited the swim 25″ back.

After a swift transition I was alone chasing the 4 leaders. I caught 2 of them in the first miles and I could see Potts in the distance. Cameron Dye was unfortunately already gone but I think i was riding well. After the first loop Mark Bowstead caught me and he was riding very well. I stuck with him 95% of the second lap and we almost caught Potts. In the last few miles I slightly dropped and entered transition 20-25″ away.

I tried to start the run fast as usual. After a mile or so I didn’t feel very good and slowed down. At that point I was fourth and I thought I couldn’t catch them in front. They were 30″ away. A bit before mile 3 I started to breathe better and I felt much better. I started really pushing it. I was telling myself there is no way I am doing fourth. If I have to literally sprint to catch them ahead I’ll do it. So I pushed and around mile 4.5 I caught Mark Bowstead and Potts wasn’t too far ahead. Mark was running well and I struggled a bit to drop him but I was delighted to end up third 12″ behind Potts and another 10″ or so in front of Mark.
Cameron Dye was another 1’30 ahead (I don’t know the exact times), he really crushed that bike.
Right now I am writing from the clouds with in flight Wifi with US airways. Thank you very much for another 200$ in bike fees!! It makes me so mad!

I’ll be heading back to France next week to race some ITU conti cups. The first one will be in Holten NED beginning of July.

See you soon!

5i50 Mont Tremblant Race Recap

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I was traveling with Lauren Goss from our Colorado base camp in Boulder. We had a very neat trip and arrived in Mt Tremblant on Thursday 3 days before the race. Our homestay was in a beautiful location on the lake, out in the wild surrounded by the forest. Our stay was very enjoyable thanks to Tannis and Kenny who did everything they could to make us feel at home.

The race lead up went perfectly. On Friday and Saturday we rode on the bike course and ran around the Mt Tremblant village which has kept its authenticity. It is such a nice place to race in! In the afternoon we swam from the house in the crystal clear waters of the lake. I was feeling good and ready to race.

The start was at 8:21 and we woke up around 5:30 for a quick breakfast. After a little warm-up I was ready to tackle the tough course. The bike was an out and back of 20km to do twice with many short and steep hills, all over 10%. I exited the swim with the first 3 guysin a time of 17’57. On the bike Ben Collins was fery strong and we could not stay with him. He entered T2 with a 1’30 advantage on us. We were 3 chasers. I was confident my run could reel him in and I started the run pretty fast. However I faded pretty quickly and could not hold a very high pace. Also the hills were pretty hard and slowed down the pace even more. But i was still trying to catch Ben Collins at that point. On the long straits on the run course I could see nobody though. At the turnaround I realized Ben Collins was running very well and he was too far ahead. I decided to settle in for second. There was no way i was going to catch him. I cruised my way back but i had to accelerate in the last 2km because of some athletes were coming back strong on the 2nd 5km. I managed to finish 2nd with a pretty bad run.

It is hard to understand how my running form is developing. When I was coming back from injury in April I was feeling great on the runs of triathlons and I did my beat run times to date. Now that I have been training more I don’t feel very good anymore. It is very strange and hard to understand. I should feel better in the next race.

All I can I say is that the race venue is very beautiful and that the course is very hard. The course is very nice and the whole race was very well organized. The village of Mt Tremblant is a very pleasant and everybody is very welcoming. I would definitely return!!

So I was happy to get in with a second place even if I was far from the win and i didn’t feel very good on the run. I got in some valuable points for the Hy-vee championship in September. I am now almost sure to be in the start list.

The next race will be in Philadelphia for the 5150 with a strong field in 2 weeks. Then it will be time to fly back to Europe for some ITU racing in July.

Rudy von Berg 2nd in 5i50 Mont Tremblant

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Rudy-5I50 Mt Tremblant

Rudy von Berg adds an important new result to its board: the 2nd place at Ironman Mont Tremblant 5i50 held yesterday in Canada. With this result, after the 4th place in St. Petersburg and the 2nd place in Memphis, the Italian athlete is virtually certain to participate in the final stage: the Hy-Vee Triathlon, an event with a prize pool of $ 620,000, which will be held in Des Moines on August 31.

Rudy is among the first exit of the swimming, once again demonstrating its progress in this discipline. Cycling is nothing against the fort Ben Collins who, with a powerful fraction, all off then to finish first. Rudy, however, not to be won and the fraction Running test to come back, but not the day.

“I’m happy with this 2nd place and more importantly, the fact that they are virtually qualified for the final leg of Des Moines,” said Rudy at the finish.

The Results

Rudy von Berg Wins the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships

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He had dreamed it, pursued it, wanted it and earned it. We are referring to the victory at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Championships that were held today Saturday April 5th in Tempe, Arizona. Rodolphe von Berg wins the most prestigious race, the Olympic Distance, where drafting is not allowed, and he does it defeating the opposition of 1200 athletes who were present at the start.

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Rudy exits the water in 11th place, approximately 1min behind Greg Harper who clocks the best split time thanks to his talent as a swimmer (NCAA athlete). The catching up already begins in T1 where Rodolphe is the fastest, and continues in the bike segment where his biking talent serves him well. At the end of the first of two loops, Rudy is already in command and brilliantly counters his adversaries successive attacks. He exits T2 in second position, a few seconds behind William Jones. After 600 yards, he takes the lead and, keeping up a good rhythm, wins with a margin of 1min 23sec on William Jones, second, and 1min 26sec on Steve Mantell, third.

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“Last year, with little experience, I finished 4th. Naturally, I am very happy with my victory and I am pleased with my progress in the swim and the run, in spite of an injury (shin splints) sustained in January, and fortunately healed now», comments a radiant Rodolphe at the finish line.”

If one analyses his performance comparing it to last year’s, that took place on the same course and in the same weather conditions, one cannot fail to notice the clear improvement achieved in the swim and the run. Overall, Rodolphe improves by 2min on last year’s time and clocks an excellent total time of 1h 44m 41s.

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The level of the competition was also high: the first three athletes finished under last year’s time of the winner Ben Kanute, who recently finished 24th in the ITU Triathlon World Cup of New Plymouth.

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