Now 41 years of age, Kirsipuu wants to continue racing in 2011
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Now 41 years of age, Kirsipuu wants to continue racing in 2011

by Shane Stokes at 6:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Quadruple Tour stage winner still enjoying the sport

Jaan KirsipuuFormer Tour de France stage winner Jaan Kirsipuu is now 41 years of age, yet the veteran rider is considering competing again in international events next season. The Estonian has said that he will race with the amateur club Saint Martin in 2011, but clarifies that this is a favour for his friend and former team-mate Ludovic Capelle and doesn’t rule out another, bigger squad.

“As this is an amateur team, it doesn’t prevent me from signing another contract. I’ll do maybe just one race in Africa, which could be the Tour of Morocco,” he told Delfi Sport.

The Estonian rider finished up with Crédit Agricole and walked away from top-level cycling in 2006, saying that he had enough of the pressure. However the racing bug was too much to shake off: he continued on at Continental level in 2007 and won a number of races, including the national time trial championships. The road race followed one year later, then in 2009 he decided to compete with the LeTua team and clocked up several victories.

These included stage wins in the FBD Insurance Rás, the Herald Sun Tour plus the Tours of Hokkaido, Morocco and Cameroon.

The 2010 season also brought some good results, such as victories in two Estonian events, second in the GP E.O.S Tallinn, a bronze medal in the national championships and top five finishes in stages of the Tour of China and the Tour of Taiwan.

Kirsipuu, who was regarded as one of the toughest riders in cycling despite never finishing the Tour de France in 12 starts, raced with the CKT Champion System team and could do so again. “It is possible that I will stay on the same team that I raced on this year. I should be able to ride in the Tour of South China with Mart Ojavee in December, and then things will become clear for the following season,” he explained.

Kirsipuu will hope to use his fast finish to grab some good results in that event. Competing in races like the Tour de France may have brought too much pressure, but he appears to still enjoy the act of riding his bike faster than others.

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