Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee believes this is the best time in history to be a long-distance triathlete.

The 35-year-old from Leeds is one of just 40 athletes set to take part in the highly-anticipated T100 Triathlon World Series, a product of the Professional Triathletes Organisation.

A rebranding of the PTO Tour, the T100 is a brand-new eight race format across the calendar year culminating in a thrilling grand final to crown the World Champion of long-distance triathlon.

And Brownlee admitted that battling for the title alongside the best endurance athletes in the world is a welcome challenge that the sport has been craving.

“The calibre of racing is high and everyone is still trying to work out how to race 100km right now,” he said.

“It’s that half distance that seems to be raced quite aggressively so having it on different courses across the season will make it really interesting.

“It’s great to have a full programme with eight races as it will give fans the opportunity to engage with triathlon multiple times across the year.

“And it also allows us to race against the best in the world eight times so this is the best time in history to be a long distance triathlete.

“We want to engage fans and bring new fans into the sport and I think this tour is doing that.”

The T100 Triathlon World Tour will span venues all around the world, including Singapore, Las Vegas and London.

And for Brownlee, who has long-lasting memories of his golden Olympic feats at London 2012, bringing international triathlon to the capital can only help improve the sport's following in the UK.

“The PTO wants to be a global sports property and to do that we need to be racing at some of the best sporting locations in the world," he said.

“It’s brilliant to have one in London, I think every time we have a big sporting event here people will come out and support.

“It’s a home race but it’s such a special place for me with it being the Olympic city in 2012.”

With 20 of the best male long-distance triathletes in the world taking to the starting line for at least five of the eight races, Brownlee noted the importance of having a such a narrow field for both safety and the wider storytelling narrative of the series.

But when it comes to his own races for the season, the Yorkshireman is keeping his plans close to his chest.

"I like the field size being 20 athletes," he said.

"I’ve always suggested that World Series field sizes should be smaller so the swim is safer and it allows the media to focus in on all the athletes, we can give the whole field a narrative.

“My individual aims for the season are to keep healthy and fit and race consistently in the first half before pushing to race more competitively in the second half. But you'll have to see."