Rudy Von Berg has warned Team Europe and Internationals not to write off the United States ahead of the Collins Cup, and says he’s ready to take on the might of Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders.
Von Berg has talked up his chances of overcoming the German GOAT and ‘No Limits’, should the trio meet at inaugural staging of the flagship event in Šamorín, Slovakia on August 28.
The 27-year-old is in line for an automatic spot on Team USA as he sits #2 in the current rankings, while Frodeno and Sanders top the lists for Team Europe and Team Internationals respectively.
Speaking to the PTO as part of their Battle For Glory documentary series, Rudy highlighted the magnitude of the race in Slovakia, and picked out Frodeno and Sanders as the two men on his radar.
Von Berg targets big guns
“Jan Frodeno is the best athlete on Team Europe. We have the Australians, we have Lionel Sanders and Team Internationals.”
“The best head-to-head you can be in is probably with these two athletes I just mentioned. I think it would be interesting for me, because Jan would swim faster than Lionel, I would either be with Jan or slightly behind.
“But I’d be in front of Lionel, so we’d have this dynamic where Jan is ahead and I’m pretty close, and Lionel’s trying to catch up.”
Sam Long is currently #1 in the Team USA rankings for the Collins Cup, knocking Von Berg off top spot following an excellent run of form which culminated in a fine victory at IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene in June.
Rudy aims to reclaim the number-one ranking, but admitted that his performances must improve if he is to earn the accolade.
“I found out I lost the number-one US spot just at home watching the PTO stats after St. George,” he revealed.
“Sam Long is number one US [athlete] now and he earned it by racing at a very high level that I wasn’t able to race well. And he got a lot of points and he passed me. It’s on me to race better if I want to be number one.”
Don’t write off US – Rudy Von Berg
Securing a place on Team USA would further soldify Von Berg’s status as one of his country’s very best, and the seven-times IRONMAN 70.3 winner says his team will not be there to make up the numbers.
“As an athlete if I could represent the US in the Collins Cup it would be an opportunity for me to show that American triathlon is one of the best in the world,” he added.
“To represent the US in the Collins Cup, it confirms, almost to myself, that I’m up there [with] the best athletes.
“My message to anyone who doubts us would be just never underestimate the Americans. Americans always rise to the occasion.”