Rudy von Berg wins November’s PTO athlete of the month and turns his thoughts to 2024.
London, 7 November: Rudy von Berg’s course record breaking win at Ironman Florida helped him secure November’s PTO Athlete of the Month, edging out Hayden Wilde and Skye Moench in a hard fought month of professional racing.
The six-athlete shortlist for November had included strong performances from Leon Chevalier, Paula Findlay, Skye Moench, Els Visser, Rudy and Hayden Wilde. With a panel of triathlon media picking their 1,2,3 from the shortlist – awarding 3 points for #1, 2 pts for #2 and 1 pt for #3 – and then fans also voting via the PTO social handles, the points are added up to determine the winner. This month Rudy collected 9.5 points, Hayden 9 and Skye 8.5. The media panel includes: Global Triathlon Network (GTN), Triathlete, Triathlon Magazine & Tri-Mag.de.
Reacting to the news of his November win, the new PTO World #7 said:
“I finally got it. I was nominated for April after my win in Texas and I didn’t get it. So it’s a nice bonus to get. A little bit of extra media, a little bit of extra attention and hopefully I’ll get it more next year on multiple months. That would be ideal.”
Giving his reflections on his impressive win in Florida, Rudy explained:
“I mean Florida was really everything I was aiming for in the last race of the season. I really hit a bunch of goals. I guess one was qualifying for Kona, because that’s part of my plan to do the PTO Tour next year and not have to do too many Ironman’s. So I hit that one. Then, obviously, just get a race win and race bonuses, prize money and all that good stuff – and then climbing the PTO Rankings in order to do the PTO Tour…and perhaps get a better contract. And then I also made £30 or £40k more in the end of the year bonus because I got in the top 10.”
Setting out his plan for 2024 he said:
“I’m really on plan for next year having already qualified for Kona. So I hope there’s a good calendar of PTO races next year that I can focus on and then add a Roth and a Kona and it’d be the perfect race calendar.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that if I’m on my game I can be on the podium for a 100K race. If you look at the first main PTO event we ever had in Daytona in 2020, I was in the mix all day – first off the bike, finished fifth and that was one of the highest level races of the last few years. And I was right there in the mix and I’m improving. Ok, I’ve done a little more long-distance, but it’s really only been a year and a half and if you look at Florida, my 20 minute power was 352 watts in a full [Ironman]. So if you add a little for a 100K, I’m up there on the watts and on the run paces. I’ve done a bunch of threshold workouts so I know I’m there. I just need to work a little on the VO2 max on the upper end.”
“For me, the key is not to race too much, to have good prep periods, and when that happens I’m really on my game and I’ve shown it this year. When I start messing up…a little last year because I changed the coach and then I had that stomach parasite that made me lose weight…and two three weeks of training…and then I was racing too quickly after that so I never really was able to get into top shape. But if I plan everything well and, fingers crossed, for the first year in three or almost four seasons nothing happens, then it will be good.”
2018-19 was Rudy’s breakthrough season and then 2020 was Covid affected with almost no racing. 2021 he suffered a nasty attack of mononucleosis, which really ‘messed me up’. 2022 he had the stomach parasite and this year he broke his collarbone in June. But with an off season anchored in Boulder and incorporating a trip back to France at Christmas, and a visit to one of his sponsors Ekoï who’s HQ is only 40 minutes from his home, and then a training camp in Maui, von Berg is already raring to go for next season.
“So I’m hoping 2024 is the first year where I have a full season with no issue and I can just perform consistently all year,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve just had a bit of bad luck every year but been able to bounce back pretty well nonetheless. I was actually talking with friends and they said there’s some kind of thing that’s linked to the moon or like an alignment of planets or whatever, but 27 to 30 year olds apparently get bad luck. I don’t know if this is a thing others have heard, but now I just turned 30 I’m hoping next year is the one.”
The PTO Athlete of the Month is a new accolade introduced for the first time this season by the Professional Triathletes Organisation to celebrate its members across the year and recognises a female or male PTO athlete each month based on: outstanding race performances, significant movement up the PTO World Rankings and/or challenges overcome.
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About the Professional Triathletes Organisation
The PTO is a new body, co-owned by the professional athletes, seeking to elevate and grow the sport of Triathlon and take it to the next level. Each PTO Open is raced over 100km (2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run). In 2023, the calendar consisted of the PTO European Open on 6 May and was followed by the PTO US Open in Milwaukee on 4-5 August and then the PTO Asian Open in Singapore on 19-20 August. With the season underpinned by the new PTO World Rankings, helping to create a compelling season-long narrative in the sport for the first time. The PTO has already confirmed that the PTO Tour will go back to Singapore on 13-14 April and Ibiza on 28-29 September, 2024, and that further stages of the Tour will be announced in the coming months.