HomeNews & FeaturesRoad CyclingEstonian Kirsipuu wins Stage 1 of the Jayco Tour

Estonian Kirsipuu wins Stage 1 of the Jayco Tour

Forty year old Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu out-powered his younger opponents to win today’s 149km first stage of the 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

“I never retired. For the last two years I have been mostly at home in Estonia but I never stopped riding. Now I am riding around the world in places I did not ride so much before,” the four time Tour de France stage winner said after his win.

“If I have a number on my back, I am a rider. I don’t want to feel ridiculous.”

But he did concede that on a day of crashes, attrition and testing weather conditions, experience was on his side, especially as he found himself the lone LeTua team rider within the 41 man break that halved the list of Tour contenders on day one.

“I am used to be alone, even when I was with the big teams, so I am quite used to it.

“I did not have my best legs today especially at the beginning because I have no racing for three weeks. But as the stage went on, it started to feel a bit better,” he explained.

The stage was highlighted by a series of crashes, including one after just 20 kilometres of racing that sent last week’s Tour of Tasmania winner Bernie Sulzberger (Fly V Australia) to hospital with deep abrasions and lacerations to his left side.

Kirsipuu narrowly missed the last one, just 200 metres from the finish when Zac Dempster, who was on his wheel collided with a road sign and fell heavily. Using every bit of that vast experience, the Estonian was undeterred, his eyes by then set firmly on the stage win and the yellow jersey.

“I saw the Garmin guys leading out and for me it was just a question to keep on Chris Sutton’s wheel. With 200 metres to go I decided to kick and was a little bit afraid that the others might catch me, but it was okay, ” Kirsipuu said.

Shortly after during the presentation ceremony, he acknowledged that the yellow jersey was even less expected than a stage win but conceded that with a bit of luck he might keep it on tomorrow’s stage from Colac to Warrnambool, even though he is sure he is not on overall contender on general classification.

Most of those who were, remain in contention, with the exception of the Jayco Australian team’s, Richie Porte and British road champion, Kristian House (Rapha Condor) who found themselves caught in the main bunch that eventually finished 18 minutes behind the leaders after today’s racing.

Chris Sutton (Garmin) and Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) were again prominent in the final dash for the line as they were in Sunday’s Preface, taking the minor placings behind Kirsipuu. Sutton’s team mate and Tour favourite, Bradley Wiggins always looked comfortable in the lead group, as did last year’s third-place getter, Ben Day (Fly V).

Cantwell, who will wear the Budget Forklifts Green Jersey tomorrow after finishing in the points in all three sprints contested today, was happy with the outcome.

“The finish was really tight, Garmin led out and I pretty much just held on. I’m kind of glad we don’t have the yellow jersey for tomorrow because it puts a little more pressure on you,” the Queenslander said.

Garmin got their jersey in the Herald Sun King of the Mountains classification with US rider, Alex Howes, winning one and finishing second in the other of the day’s two climbs.

The choice of the daily award for the most aggressive rider was an easy one after Canberra architect Stuart Shaw bravely hopped on a reserve bike after crashing early in the stage, before rejoining the front group and then making a lone break for nearly 30 kilometres between the two major hill climbs of the day.

Tomorrow’s second stage will take the peloton, now reduced to 95 riders after today’s hard grind, from Colac to Warrnambool, featuring two category three hills and intermediate sprints at Cobden and Allansford.

Tuesday 13 October
Stage Two – Colac to Warrnambool – 143km
Start – Murray St (Princes Hwy), Colac, 10.30am
Finish – Flagstaff Hill, Warrnambool, ETA 2.00pm
Via Tomahawk Creek, Jancourt East, Cobden, Scotts Creek, Timboon, Brucknell, Nirranda East, Nullawarre, Mepunga East, Allansford

General Classification after Stage 1
1. Jaan Kirsipuu L2A 3hrs41:44
2. Jonathan Cantwell VAU + 1 sec
3. Chris Sutton GRM + 4 secs
4. Richard Lang BFL + 11 secs
5. Dean Downing RCR + 12 secs
6. Joe Lewis DPC + 12 secs
7. Bradley Wiggins GRM + 14 secs
8. David Pell SLV + 14 secs
9. Matthew Wilson AUS + 14 secs
10. David Tanner RRC + 14 secs

source: Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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