The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) has announced that Collin Chartier will replace the unwell Rudy Von Berg on Team US at the Collins Cup this weekend.
Epstein-Barr virus leaves Von Berg unable to start in Samorin
Von Berg has been suffering with the effects of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also known as mononucleosis virus, which he is believed to have contracted following his victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Switzerland earlier this month.
The 27-year-old lost 4.5kg in body mass and was unable to train for almost two weeks, and although he is on the road to recovery, he is far from elite level competitiveness.
Von Berg was hoping to join up with Team US – against his doctor’s advice – but was ultimately unable to return to full fitness in time, and will now face an uphill battle to return for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah in three weeks time.
Team US Captain Mark Allen revealed that Von Berg, who was geared up for a showdown with Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders, is not in condition to race this weekend and will be replaced by Chartier.
Chartier to “enter the battle”
“Rudy would have added huge value to Team US and was keen to race, but this is a brutal sport and we need to be mindful of an athletes health,” Allen explained.
“We are thankful to have Collin Chartier as a stand-in who is willing and certainly able to take Rudy’s place and enter the battle for Team US.”
Von Berg, who has picked up second places at IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables D’Olonne and the IRONMAN 70.3 European Championship this year in addition to his win in Switzerland, was understandably disappointed to miss out on the inaugural Collins Cup event in Samorin.
“I am gutted to have to pull out of The Collins Cup,” he stated. “I have been sick and although I had resumed training and was hoping to be ready to race, I am still not feeling anywhere close to being ready to perform at the required level to serve my teammates.”
It’s Collins for Collin
Chartier has picked up two 70.3 podium finishes this year, picking up second at IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines in June before finishing third at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder earlier this month.
“It is an absolute privilege to be able to race for Team US at the inaugural Collins Cup and I look forward to competing against the best athletes from Team Europe and Team Internationals,” he said. “I have big shoes to fill but will give it my all for Team US.”