It was a close call for the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) November athlete of the month, but in the end American pro Rudy von Berg got the nod by the slimmest of margins. While here at Triathlon Magazine we voted for a tie between von Berg and fellow Ironman Florida record-breaking champion Skye Moench, in the end the media panel and fan votes put von Berg (9.5 votes) a touch ahead of Kiwi Hayden Wilde (9 points) and Moench (8.5).
Other athletes on the shortlist included Leon Chevalier (FRA), Paula Findlay (CAN) and Els Visser (NED).
Move into the top 10
The win in Florida turned out to be a huge day for von Berg both financially and in terms of nailing his Kona qualifying slot. He also moved into the top-10 of the PTO World Ranking.
“I mean Florida was really everything I was aiming for in the last race of the season,” von Berg said in an interview with the PTO. “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 more in the end of the year bonus because I got in the top 10.”
The American pro hopes to race as many events as possible in the PTO Tour next year, along with Challenge Roth and the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. He also feels like he’s in a good position to excel in 2024.
“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,” he said. “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.”