Javier Gomez, one of the biggest names in triathlon, will make his Ironman debut this weekend in Cairns, Australia for the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship.

Gomez has made it clear this year that he is targeting an Ironman World Championship start in Kona come October. He has chosen Ironman Cairns as his intro to full-distance racing, as it has many course similarities to Kona (click here for preview). The course features high winds, is relatively flat, has an ocean swim and is very hot and humid. Cairns, this year, features one of the most competitive race fields in its history, with multiple Ironman and 70.3 champions.

In this interview with Talbot Cox, Gomez shares his thoughts, training and goals for the season. Though he is a five-time ITU world champion and two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion, Gomez looks to be patient with his approach to Ironman and his focus on Kona.

Gomez is a proven champion, but will he have success in his first Ironman? How will he fair when going up against some of the best in the sport? Terenzo Bozzone has been on a tear since Kona last year, winning every Ironman or 70.3 he has entered (second at Bahrain). Then there is the ever-consistent American pro, Tim O’Donnell. Also present are past Ironman Cairns champions Luke McKenzie, Tim Van Berkel and David Dellow.

Gomez’s competition isn’t only strong, they’re motivated, too. O’Donnell and Mckenzie need a high placing to secure a birth for this year’s Ironman World Championship in Kona.

The popular triathlon “data geek” from TriRating, Thorsten Radde (Twitter @Thradde), has Terenzo Bozzone as the odds on favourite to win Cairns this weekend at 40 percent. After the Kiwi, he ranks Van Berkel, O’Donnell and Mckenzie. However, whenever Javier Gomez lines up, he is a threat to win.

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