Multiple IRONMAN 70.3 race winner Rodolphe (Rudy) Von Berg is a perennial podium dweller on the middle-distance circuit – including a bronze medal at the 70.3 World Championship in 2019. He is also a double IRONMAN 70.3 European champion.
Born in Columbus, Georgia, USA in October 1993, Von Berg spent all but the first two weeks of his childhood living in the South of France in Grasse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Von Berg competed in his first triathlon at the age of 11 – a natural step to follow in his father’s prestigious footsteps – and he was selected to represent Italy at youth and senior levels. However, in 2014, Rudy chose to represent the United States.
Alongside his triathlon career, Von Berg graduated from Lycée Fénelon before spending time in Australia to train. He then moved to the US to complete a degree in business and marketing at the University of Boulder in Colorado, USA.
Rudy is a demon on the bike, regularly opening up insurmountable gaps to his opposition as he searches for race victories. Von Berg has already stated his intention to compete for the first time on the full-distance circuit in 2022.
His ultimate goal, like so many, is to lift the IRONMAN World Championship title in Kona.
Career record and results
Beginning his career as a two-time U.S. Collegiate National champion during his undergraduate years, Rudy committed to a professional triathlon career in 2017, a year after his World Triathlon Series and IRONMAN 70.3 debuts, earning a second place finish at 70.3 Miami in October 2016.
In 2017, he would open the season with a silver medal at IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires – just over three minutes behind eventual winner Lionel Sanders. Further podiums followed at 70.3 Texas and Challenge Sardinia as that first elusive professional win continued to evade him.
2018 was a breakout year for Rodolphe ‘junior’. After a third-placed finish at 70.3 Campeche, Von Berg lifted the Wildflower Triathlon title. Wins at Nice and Buenos Aires followed, as did a first appearance at the 70.3 World Championship, where he finished in the top 15.
The highlight of the 2018 season though was a European Championship title at 70.3 Elsinore. Von Berg went toe-to-toe with Britain’s Adam Bowden throughout the race. The Brit took the swim by four seconds, but Von Berg dominated the bike – opening up a 2:48 gap to his rival. It all came down to the run and Rudy managed to hold off his fast-finishing rival to win by 30 seconds.
A trio of victories followed in 2019, including a second successive European Championship victory. Once again it was a head-to-head battle as Von Berg and Spanish great Javier Gomez locked horns – with the latter opening up a 39-second gap in the swim.
Von Berg’s cycling prowess overturned that deficit as he built a lead of 3:17 into the half-marathon. Gomez closed to within nine seconds of the American, but the finish line came just in time for Rudy. His other victories came at St. George – the North American Championship – and with a second triumph at 70.3 Buenos Aires.
Despite a reduced schedule in 2020, Rudy took two race victories at 70.3 Les Sables D’Olonne and TriGames Mandelieu. The American also finished fifth in the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona.
A sextet of races in 2021 led to four podium finishes, including victory at 70.3 Switzerland, silver medals at the European Championships in Elsinore and Les Sables D’Olonne, and a third-place finish at Clash Daytona.
Rudy was also selected to represent Team USA at the inaugural Collins Cup in Samorin. But he was forced to pull out just days before the event after he contracted Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also known as mononucleosis virus.
Now coached by Mikal Iden, von Berg won IRONMAN France in 2022 and took back-to-back IRONMAN 70.3 third place finishes in Oceanside and Chattanooga, before a difficult second half to the season. 2022 included a respectable 20th place finish at the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii on his debut at the event but the American will have his eyes on a much higher finish in 2023.
Starting 2023 as he means to go on, von Berg took the win at IRONMAN Texas in a thrilling sprint finish to secure his slot at what will effectively be a home town world champs at the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice.
Rudy Von Berg family
Talk about a family steeped in triathlon…
Rudy’s father, also named Rodolphe Van Berg, is an age-group world champion at IRONMAN Hawaii in Kona. He continues to race on the age group circuit, and he is amongst the best in the world in his category.
“My earliest memory of him racing was in Kona at the IRONMAN World Championship in 1998 when I was 5 years old” says ‘Junior’ on his official website.
Rudy’s mother, Angela, is a dual citizen of America and Italy. His sister, Olympia, is a fellow triathlete who joined Rudy in Boulder, USA – she competes as an age-group athlete over the 70.3 distance. His older brother Maximillian also competes on the 70.3 age-group circuit.
Rudy Von Berg gear
In the water Rudy has partnered with Sailfish for his wetsuit and speedsuit, while using the RYD Fusion as his trisuit.
Von Berg has a bike partnership with Trek – riding their Speed Concept bike – combined with a DT Swiss ARC front wheel and Bontrager rear wheel. On the run Rudy wears Nike Alphafly’s and uses Ekoi Premium 70 eyewear.
Rudy works with Kriva CBDA for his science-based recovery programme and has further partnerships with Compressport and NEVERSECOND performance nutrition.