AFTER two fifth places and a fourth, Launceston triathlete Joe Gambles is targeting a podium at the 70.3 world championships in Las Vegas next month.
``All of my focus is on Vegas,'' he said. ``After three top-five finishes at these championship races I am driven to podium this year.''
The US-based 31-year-old has planned his season around the September 9 championships and is in excellent form fresh from wins at Rev3 Quassy and a third straight title at his home-town Boulder 70.3.
The former Kings Meadows High student specialises in the 70.3 discipline, named after its total mileage from the 1.2-mile (1.9km) swim, 56-mile (90km) ride and 13.1-mile (21km) run.
Gambles told Triathlete.com he was pleased with his preparations for Vegas, which will be followed by another ironman at Tahoe and then the sport's pinnacle at Kona in Hawaii.
``I have planned out my season better this year. I have allowed for more blocks of training to specifically prepare for races.
``Boulder was a perfect race five weeks out from worlds. I didn't have to travel, and I got to test myself against some of the best athletes over this distance.
``I have cut my training volume back and really focused on making the key sessions count. I have built my season with the intention of remaining relaxed and not getting run down so I can peak later in the season. I definitely feel a lot fresher both physically and mentally than this time last year.
``By not racing between Boulder and Vegas I have time to recover, train for both Vegas and Tahoe, and then properly taper. If Tahoe goes well then it will give me a good start towards making Kona in 2014.
``Kona is the pinnacle of triathlon and I want to perform well there. Since winning on debut in Wisconsin in 2010, my ironman career hasn't really blossomed.
``I want to focus on Kona when I feel my body can handle the distance. Hopefully a good result in Tahoe will show that I am heading in the right direction.''