Kirsipuu sweeps Estonian Championships

  • 2005-06-29
  • By TBT staff
Jaan Kirsipuu, the first Estonian to ever win a stage of the Tour de France, stole the Estonian Championships on June 24 in both races - the road race and individual time trial.
During the individual 30 km event, Kirsipuu outraced Tarmo Raudsepp and Andre Aduson with a time of 40 minutes 10 seconds. Raudsepp clocked in at 41.13 for second place and Aduson took third with 41.18.

In the longer 176 km race, Kirsipuu left behind fellow Estonian cyclists Erki Putsep and Janek Tombak, finishing in 4 hours, 2 minutes and 28 seconds. Putsep clocked in at 4:02.38 and Tombak at 4:02.47.

Kirsipuu will go on to represent Estonia at the Tour de France, where he hopes to help Norwegian teammate Thor Hushovd in the 3,607 kilometer race.

"The fact that I was selected to the team is a good sign," said the Estonian. "I haven't shown bright results this season. At the same time, it was also Hushovd's wish that I belong to team."

In 2004, Kirsipuu took first place in stage 1 of the Tour de France during a ground sprint into Charleroi. Pulling ahead of Robbie McEwen and Hushovd to win, the cyclist set an Estonian record of four career Tour stage wins.

Born on July 17, 1969 in Tartu, Kirsipuu's cycling career began at the age of 10.

Following in the footsteps of his father Rein, a top cyclist and trainer, and his brother Toomas, a seven-time Estonian Champion and one of the first ex-USSR riders allowed to compete as a pro, Kirsipuu has brought Estonia's name to the forefront of international cycling.

Kirsipuu was the only rider to wear the yellow jersey at the 1999 Tour de France besides eventual winner Lance Armstrong. He has won four Tour de France stages: stage 1 Montaigu 's Challans in 1999, stage 6 Commercy 's Strasbourg in 2001, stage 5 Soissons 's Rouen in 2001 and stage 1 Liege 's Charleroi in 2004.

In 2001, the Estonian won two stages of the Tour Mediterranean, the Route Adelie, two stages of the Circuit de la Sarthe, the GP de Denain, four stages of the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, a stage of the Tour de L'Oise and the Tartu Criterium, finishing with the second highest number of wins for the season, behind world number one Erik Zabel.

Kirsipuu resides with his wife and two sons in Chambery, France during training season and spends the rest of the year in Tallinn.