Stuart Hayes has admitted the superb form of fellow Britons Alistair and Jonny Brownlee means he faces a fight to qualify for London 2012.
Hayes races in the Kitzbuhel triathlon this weekend, which he won in 2010.
Kitzbuhel is a precursor to selection races in London and Beijing where the Brownlees should dominate, with Britain allowed to send three men to the Games.
"They are almost guaranteed to go so at the moment I'm going for the third spot," Hayes told BBC Sport.
The 31-year-old stunned the field in Austria last year, using his power on the bike to break clear and register his only victory at World Championship Series level.
This year's Kitzbuhel race forms the third leg of the seven-stage World Championship Series, currently led by Spain's Javier Gomez ahead of Jonny Brownlee.
The elder Brownlee, 2009 world champion Alistair, will compete alongside Hayes this weekend but Jonny and Gomez are both sitting it out ahead of next week's European Championships in the Spanish town of Pontevedra.
"Last year was probably the race of my life, it meant so much to me," said Hayes. "This is my last attempt at the Olympic Games, and I'm not on funding, I have to win prize money. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
"I definitely would have jacked it in if I hadn't won at Kitzbuhel last year. There would have been no hope.
"You've got the Brownlees, Tim Don and other great British triathletes and if you're constantly coming nowhere you look for something else, don't you?
"This year, if it comes down to the run then I'm not going to come anywhere. But if I get that break on the bike I've got a good chance.
"Every sport has their superstars - athletics has Bolt, cycling has Cancellara - but they are beatable. They're never on top form all the time."
Alistair Brownlee won the Madrid triathlon ahead of Jonny earlier this month, with Gomez third.
But the World Championship Series races in London's Hyde Park and Beijing are the target for all British triathletes this year, as they form the two selection races for the British team at the London Olympics.
"This year is all about Olympic selection. My main focus is those two races and if that means I finish way down in the World Championship Series, that's fine," said Britain's Helen Jenkins, a former world champion who finished second behind Canada's Paula Findlay in Madrid two weeks ago.
"I'd love to get back on top of the podium, though. I actually thought I'd be really disappointed with second in Madrid, since I was so close to the podium, but I gave it everything on the day and it was good to break a string of third-place finishes.
"The way the racing's going, it's being won on the run and I need to improve that. But at the same time I need to still be strong in the other two.
"You don't want to improve your run so much that people get away on the swim and the bike, and you're two minutes down on the run - because being fast won't help you then."
Australia's Chris McCormack, at 38-years-old the current Ironman world champion and a former holder of the world title over the Olympic distance, also marks his return to the Olympic format of the sport in Kitzbuhel.