Yorkshire’s Brownlee brothers have blazed a trail in triathlon for the last decade, with Alistair the dominant force winning every title there is to win including two Olympic gold, with Jonny just a few steps behind in the medals.
Seeking a new challenge, Alistair has opted to run the longer-distance Ironman triathlons, presenting Jonny with the chance to emerge from his shadow.
“I’m still happy in triathlon,” said the 27-year-old, who won bronze at London 2012 and silver in Rio last summer.
“I haven’t achieved what I want to achieve yet – winning the big events like the Commonwealths, the Olympics or even the World Series in Leeds – so I’d like to do that first before looking to the longer distances, hopefully after Tokyo 2020.”
After admitting in the wake of his second-place finish to Alistair in Leeds last week that his chances of winning a second world series title are slim, his best bet may now be next year’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.
But the scheduling of those Games, in April as opposed to late summer as is common with the quadrennial gathering, means Jonny will have to start preparing for 2018 a lot sooner than he might usually.
“It will change the season for me,” he said. “I’ll have to spend a lot more time abroad because it’s hotter in Australia
“I’ll probably spend the first part of the year in Spain and then head straight out to Australia to try and acclimatise to the heat and get over the jetlag. This year I was injured in February and not even racing, so it’s going to change my season considerably by trying to peak a lot earlier.
“Hopefully, a different year training will prepare me for that and help me recover from last year which was very hard mentally and physically.”
Jonny qualified his place in the Commonwealths in Leeds last weekend, as did reigning champion Alistair, who has suggested he will not return to defend his title.
“It’s a good chance for me to win one of these big events,” added Jonny.