Kirsipuu joins Astana as directeur sportif

Estonian finally hangs up his racing wheels

At the age of 43, Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu has finally made the decision to end his competitive career and join the Astana Pro Team for 2013 as a director. Previously one of the world's top sprinters, Kirsipuu is not moving to the team as a sprint coach, but rather as a competitive director.

However he still expects to be in the team car for the races which focus on the sprinters.

"The sprint team will still feature in my calendar at the beginning of the season, with Qatar and Oman, and then likely Flanders and the Belgian Classics," he told

The four-time Tour de France stage winner previously retired from racing in 2006, but wasn't able to step away completely. After a lengthy stint with AG2R, he left in 2005 to ride his final seasons with Crédit Agricole.

Following his retirement he kept competing in Estonia, winning two national titles before he returned to the professional ranks with the Malaysian team LeTua in 2009.

He spent the past three seasons with the Champion System squad.

Kirsipuu has already attended a pre-season camp with Astana in Italy after signing a one-year contract, where he was able to meet with his compatriot Tanel Kangert.

"I sat down with him and we put together two versions of how to approach the season," Kirsipuu said to "Tanel made his decision on which was correct, and I went to the managers and presented it."

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