Double Commonwealth medallist Jonathan Brownlee insists he is ready to lead the charge for Great Britain at this weekend’s opening round of the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi.
Brownlee, who won individual silver and team gold at last summer’s Games, is one of four British men racing alongside Adam Bowden, Mark Buckingham and Gordon Benson – although older brother and Commonwealth champion Alistair misses out due to an ankle injury.
The first round of the Series takes place over the sprint distance – 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run –and will be followed by another eight rounds before the 2015 ITU World champions are decided at the Grand Final in Chicago in September.
And with a solid block of training under his belt from the off season, the 24-year-old is ready and raring to get going.
"Winter training has been great and I’m looking forward to racing this weekend," he said.
"It's a sprint race so anything can happen but I know my 5km running speed is good.
"It's a shame for Alistair that he's not racing but it's a big year for us all with Olympic qualification and it's still very early in the year at the moment."
The women will open the 2015 Series and Commonwealth champion Jodie Stimpson lines up alongside Lucy Hall, Emma Pallant and Heather Sellars as world champion Gwen Jorgensen of America starts in pole position.
Former world champions Helen Jenkins and Non Stanford as well as double Commonwealth medallist Vicky Holland have opted to continue their winter training rather than compete in Abu Dhabi.
But Stimpson, who has been based in San Diego in the lead up to this event, can't wait to get going.
"It's good to be getting the season underway," she said. "This is a sprint race so it's a good chance to see where I'm at before the next two races in Auckland and the Gold Coast."
© Sportsbeat 2015