Ironman, Von Berg prevail at inaugural Nice 70.3
27 September 2018 - Interview
Ironman, Von Berg prevail at inaugural Nice 70.3

Congratulations on your victory. How hard was it?
Thank you, I really pushed it on the swim and bike to create a gap with the other top contenders, and with the big gap I had in T2, I was able to not push the run 100%. The run legs hurt a little more than usual because on the bike you need to push over 400 watts many times during the race because of all the accelerations out of the corners, and on the shorter steep hills.

You did the best time on the bike. What is the secret to going well on this course with the climb of the Col de Vence?
The secret to going well is to not start too fast on the flats, start pushing it on the col de Vence and then finish very strong on the downhill and the last 12km of flat. You need to feel strong in the last 20km.

You rode the Colnago K-One, using the time trial bike is also an advantage on this type of route?
Yes even on a very hilly course like this you need to ride the TT bike. The downhills are much quicker on the TT bike, and there are enough flat portions that you will gain a lot of time on those. On the uphills, the TT bike is only marginally slower.

Did you know this course (Nice 70.3)?
Yes I know most of it very well because I lived nearby til I was 19 years old in South of France. However, I would usually do the course the opposite way so I didn’t know the downhills very well because in training, I would always do them going up. So this year, everytime I was in France and had a 4hr ride, I would go do the 70.3 course so I could get to know the downhills very well. It is key to know those downhills well.

You seem to be getting more and more comfortable with long-distance racing. Right?
Yes, it’s been 3 years for me now doing more half ironman distances. I am fully confident in my ability to do well at this distance.

How is your training program going?
It’s been very good, after 5 days of easy training post 70.3 Nice and the travel back to the US, I am now starting back a new training block with some volume to start with. After the that, the intensity will start ramping up getting closer to the next race November 4th in Buenos Aires (70.3 South American Championship).

Do you train alone or do you have a team of people that follows you?
I have some friends that are good training partners. I also go to Masters swim workouts twice a week. However, I don’t always train with people. I’d say I maybe do half my workouts with people, and the other half alone. It’s important to have some people to do some training with, but it’s also important to be able to train alone. The quality of the workouts when you do it on your own is high, and it’s efficient.

How would you rate your performance at the 70.3 World Championships?
Apart for the swim, my performance was actually very good in South Africa. But missing the swim group made for a much harder day because I didn’t have a group to work with on the bike. Even with the 12m draft zone, there is a big group effect. I had great watts on the bike, but still lost time on the leaders, too much time. My run was satisfactory too, considering the little injury I had during my preparation.

In which of the three sports do you need to improve the most?
I am solid at all 3, so there is no specific sport where I need to improve the most. I need to improve a little all 3. Just consistent hard work in every sport, to get better little by little.

Will you dedicate yourself to ironman one day?
Yes my big dream in this sport is to win Ironman World Champs in Hawaii, so that will be the big focus in a few years. But for now, I still have big things to do at the 70.3 distance.