Estonian cyclist Jan Kirsipuu, the Baltic state’s most successful rider, is quitting the saddle and joining Kazakh team Astana as sporting director.
“My task will be technical support and coordinating team-work during races. I know the Astana team and that helped me get the job,” the 43-year-old told Estonian public broadcaster ERR on Monday. He said he had inked a one-year contract with Astana, whose line-up includes 25-year-old countryman Tanel Kangert.
After turning professional in 1993 – two years after Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union – Kirsipuu raced for French teams including Casino and Credit Agricole. He retired initially in 2006, only to return to racing three years later.