Kirsipuu to continue on for another season, 41 year old will target European events
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kirsipuu to continue on for another season, 41 year old will target European events

by Shane Stokes at 9:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tough veteran hopes to begin year with Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia

Jaan KirsipuuAfter pondering whether or not to continue racing, the 41 year old former Tour de France stage winner Jaan Kirsipuu has decided to continue competing for another season. The evergreen Estonian will remain with the Ckt TMIT - Champion System team he raced with in 2010, bringing his career length to almost two decades.

The team was registered in Armenia this year but the administration will be based in Hong Kong in 2011. He expects the team to be an ambitious one.

“The sponsor has clear commercial interests in Europe and we are focussed on excelling there,” he told Delfi.ee. “The team currently has 16 riders, half of them from last year’s team.”

Kirsipuu said that he had a clear choice of what races he can target, with the sponsor giving him freedom to decide which ones on the programme to aim for.

The Estonian rider may be one of the oldest in the international peloton, but he clearly remains enamoured with the sport. He 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.

However the racing bug was too much to shake off: he continued at Continental level in 2007 and won the national time trial championships. He won the road race 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.

Kirsipuu, a four-time stage winner who started twelve Tours but never made it to Paris, moved to the the Ckt TMIT - Champion System team before the start of the 2010 season. It was another good year, with the ageing rider netting victories in two Estonian events, second place 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.

The first race of 2011 is likely to be the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, prior to which he will hone his form. “Before then there will be a two week camp for the team in Thailand, where it should be possible to build the necessary condition,” he said. Deciding to carry on could well earn him more wins, and will certainly command respect in the peloton.
 

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