Double Olympic champion Alistair missed the second half of 2017 after hip surgery before returning to action at the Commonwealth Games but the 30-year-old is injured for this coming weekend’s ITU Triathlon World Series leg.
Leeds is staging the British leg of the series for the third consecutive year with Alistair having won both the 2016 and 2017 events, twice beating his brother into second place.
Alistair misses out on a hat-trick bid but his younger brother says he would rather be racing alongside the double Olympic champion, even if that would have meant fiercer competition as a result.
Jonathan said: “Not having Alistair here is a disappointment because racing with him is something that I really, really enjoy.
“Tactically, it’s really very important for me having Alistair there, someone who likes to push through on the bike and help to get a breakaway which has been our tactic in many races.
“But it also now gives me a better chance of winning because I have been beaten by Alistair in the last two races in Leeds.”
Jonathan is in for a busy week with Nottingham welcoming prospective Tokyo 2020 Olympians on Thursday to the inaugural Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay.
Triathlon mixed relay will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games, making the event in Nottingham a priority for nations looking to secure their first qualifying points. Three days after the Nottingham event, the world’s best will travel north to the Brownlee brothers’ home town of Leeds for what will be the fourth leg of this year’s World Series.
Leading the quest for top of the podium in West Yorkshire will be world champion Mario Mola and Spanish compatriot Fernando Alarza – currently ranked No 2 in the current World Triathlon Series rankings.