Josh Amberger Set to Light Up Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast
With less than two months to the Ironman World Championship in Hawai’i, Queensland’s Josh Amberger is putting the final touches to his preparation for his second assault on Kona.
A vital piece of the puzzle is Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast (26 August) where Amberger is looking to put his lethal swim/bike combination to work, to test out the super strong men’s field being assembled in Mooloolaba.
Just back from training in Spain with his partner and fellow triathlete Ashleigh Gentle, Amberger is hoping build on his early season form and keep the momentum up into the second half of the year.
“This year has been pretty good I started off with a couple of second places at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong and then IRONMAN South Africa which was great because I got all my Kona points out of the way in the first four months.”
“That gave me the freedom to pick some races that I have always wanted to do like IRONMAN 70.3 Switzerland at Rapperswil-Jona, which I won, and IRONMAN Frankfurt which is kind of like a bucket list IRONMAN to do because as a professional it is probably the strongest field for an IRONMAN outside of Kona.
“The racing in Germany and Switzerland was fantastic, riding through all these really cute towns and villages and everyone comes out to support the racing, so it was a really good vibe at both events and was really enjoyable. Between all those races I have a win and some strong podiums, so it is has been really positive start to the year.”
For any IRONMAN with an intent on a strong performance at the biggest race of the year in Hawai’i, August and September are the vital months but the juggling act is always increasing the intensity of training while staying happy and healthy.
“With the European races behind me I am now thinking about the second half of the year and my Kona preparation. I was supposed to race 70.3 Cebu in the Phillipines but I had a niggle that prevent that. So I came home a week early to ensure that I have sorted it all out and get ready for IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast. It wasn’t worth risking racing on it too early and making it worse.”
“I am definitely eyeing off Sunny Coast as my next race and obviously the last race I do before Kona in October. I raced the World Champs up there in 2016 and I am very familiar with the Sunshine Coast as a junior I grew up doing the Mooloolaba triathlon and Noosa so it is nice that we have the 70.3 race there as well. It is fantastic that it continues to thrive and I will get the opportunity to race there.”
As arguably the fastest swimmer in the current crop of IRONMAN athletes, Amberger is keen to use IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast to fine tune his biggest weapon and give spectators in Mooloolaba someone to cheer on, as he attempts to go from wire to wire.
“I think I have the advantage with my swim and bike combination, so I will definitely be playing that card at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast. I will try to clear out and give it to them all early in the race.”
After IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Amberger said he will go back into a training block and will start to turn up the volume.
“I am really excited to be returning to Hawai’i to race and I hope that my training over the coming couple of months allows me to race in peak condition over there.”
“I made a bit of a statement last year swimming faster than anyone has in Kona for a decade or more. I have let everyone know there is an option here for anyone willing to swim hard that we can get off the front and clear out from the main group and leave all the runners and uber bikers behind. That will be the way I will approach it again this year, swimming hard and trying to hold on during the bike.”
“I can’t go off the front on my own, I definitely need some company. Kona is the World Champs and everyone is there looking for a top ten finish, so it is obviously highly competitive. You do need allies out there on the course because I have learned you can’t go one against the field. So hopefully someone might answer the call this year to swim and ride with me,” he said.