A bit of a Gamble…..

August 30th, 2009 by

Joe Gambles is a friend of mine from Australia, who I’ve known for a few years now. We both seemed to start racing the 70.3 events around the same point in time, and last year we finished within 10 seconds of each other at Clearwater …. this year however he has gone on to race superbly well, winning two US 70. events – Vineman and Lake Stevens, and hitting the podium on a number of occasions also.

It’s a long ways from the ITU Oceania Champs in Geelong, Australia, March 2005 when we were both still trying to ‘make it’ in the drafting scene. – A guy I was training with at the time, Andrew Fargus, was sitting alongside former World ranked No.1 Chris Hill in the bike pack, when Joe attacked. Chris turned to Andrew in a totally deadpan moment and said “that’s a bit of a Gamble”. I think Andrew nearly fell off his bike with laughter. I also think you had to be there to find it as funny as I did at the time.

You sound Aussie, live in Aussie, sorry, Tasmania, yet won the Euro Long Course last year with GBR after your name. Explain for folks!

I was born in England and migrated with my family to Tasmania when I was three years old. In 2007, when I raced my first race for GB I was struggling to make ends meet financially as many athletes do racing overseas. GB offered to help me get to races and cover some basic costs and at that point I had no other option if I wanted to keep racing! Australia doesn’t have a long course development program with their focus on ITU style racing. This is a shame, as many of the best athletes over the half ironman to ironman distance hail from Australia.

You’ve had a cracking season, with two 70.3 wins in the US already -whats the secret?

Patience, consistency and staying injury free!

Boulder has been your training base all summer. Sell it to us!

I don’t want to sell it. The pool is already too crowded!! Just kidding

Training with the best in the sport day in and day out makes you realise that these guys are human and have bad days too. Motivation to train isn’t a problem here. When you start to keep up in training, you start to believe you can do it in a race too!

You secured your 70.3 wins with course record bike rides, plus you took the Timex Bike Prime at Clearwater last November. How crucial is a killer big leg in racing today do you reckon?

At Clearwater – not that important! In other courses – crucial. It gives you options. You can either sit and wait for the run and know that you will have fresher legs or you can put the hammer down and hurt everyone else. It’s all good fun really!

Thoughts on toeing an IM startline anytime soon?

Not yet! I have definitely thought about it and after winning European Championships last year over 3/4 Ironman distance, I think ironman will suit me down the track. With the growing number of 70.3 races it’s definitely a viable option racing as a full time half ironman athlete.

Do you miss ITU racing?!

No, the style of racing is not really why I got into the sport.

Thoughts on compression socks whilst racing?!?

Nah, but I see more and more using them. They must be getting a good bonus!

Finally; Campy or Shimano?

Shimano, only because I have never used Campy!


For more of Joe’s thoughts on all things 70.3, check out this further interview that I found here.