Jonny Brownlee admits his hopes of winning the World Triathlon Series have passed by for 2017 – but he remains focused on finishing the season on a high note.
The double Olympic medallist returns to competition in Edmonton today having missed the race in Hamburg earlier this month on medical advice.
Finishing the season well is really important to me. I was really disappointed to miss Hamburg, but I had to listen to doctors’ orders.Jonny Brownlee
While it is still mathematically possible for Brownlee to finish the year as the best in the world, he would require victories in the remaining events to catch reigning champion Mario Mola.
Brownlee, who won the world title in 2012, sits in 23rd place in this year’s rankings, more than 2,000 points behind Mola.
The race in Canada will only be the 27-year-old’s third on the 2017 calendar and he has suffered mixed fortunes in his two races to date.
Having missed the first two races through injury, Brownlee trailed home in 42nd place in Yokohama in June after damaging his bike in a crash one mile before the final transition.
He returned to finish second behind brother Alistair at his home leg in Leeds last month but hopes of building on that performance were ruined when doctor’s advised him to miss Hamburg.
With only three rounds of the season left on the calendar after this weekend, the 2012 world champion is taking things one step at a time as he targets a return to form and fitness.
“Finishing the season well is really important to me,” said Brownlee. “I was really disappointed to miss Hamburg, but I had to listen to doctors’ orders.
“Although I’m not certain how things will go [in Edmonton], I know I’m feeling a lot better than I was.”
Fellow Leeds triathlete Gordon Benson will join Brownlee in the men’s race, which will start at 8.06pm (BST) in Hawrelak Park.
Non Stanford will miss the women’s race in Canada as she continues her recovery from an Achilles injury.
The 28-year-old former world champion also missed the race in Hamburg and was also likely to miss the following event in Montreal on August 5-6.