Kirsipuu retires at 43 years of age, takes up directeur sportif role with Astana team
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kirsipuu retires at 43 years of age, takes up directeur sportif role with Astana team

by Shane Stokes at 8:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Four-time Tour stage winner finally walks away from competition

Jaan KirsipuuAfter a professional career spanning 21 years, including stints with the Ag2r La Mondiale, Crédit Agricole and Champion System teams, Jaan Kirspuu has hung up his racing wheels at 43 years of age.

The Estonian hardman has decided to call time on competition, and was confirmed yesterday as taking up a directeur sportif role with the Astana team. He will share his experience with the riders there, working alongside former team-mate Alexandre Vinokourov, who also retired this year and is now the general manager of the team.

Kirspuu turned pro in 1992 with the Chazal team and remained within that structure for most of his career, working with Vincent Lavenu with the Casino and Ag2r Prévoyance teams until the end of 2004. He then switched to Crédit Agricole until his retirement in 2006, walking away as he said that he had enough of the pressure.

Before then, he clocked up four stage wins in the Tour de France, one in the Vuelta a España, as well as stage wins in Tour of Luxembourg, Tour of the Mediterranean, Four Days of Dunkirk, Circuit de la Sarthe, Tour of Poland plus numerous one day events. He also took the overall classification in the 2006 Tour of Denmark.

Kirspuu missed racing very soon after that initial retirement and he continued at Continental level in 2007, taking the national time trial championships. He won the national road race title in 2008, then in 2009 he took stage wins for the Le Tua team in the FBD Insurance Rás, the Herald Sun Tour plus the Tours of Hokkaido, Morocco and Cameroon.

He then took up a post with the Ckt TMIT - Champion System team before the start of the 2010 season and, last winter, moved to a new structure also backed by Champion System. His best showing this year was sixth in the 1.1-ranked Jurmala GP; it’s the last big result of his career, with his future successes set to come through the riders he guides rather than his own physical effort.

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