Posted by Editoress on 10/12/09
Forty year old Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu could not understand all the fuss about his age when he 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.
Note: Within 20km of the start of Stage 1 there was a big crash sending some riders to the hospital. Will Routley went down breaking his frame but with a new bike and good legs was able to make it back into the 41 man early breakaway that stuck to the end only to have a spoke brake on his wheel. With a new wheel he was able to get in the chase group and not get knocked out of the race. (Courtesy Tony Routley)
Report courtesy Jayco Sun Tour
|Stage 1: Ballarat to Ballarat Road Race, 149km|
|1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) LeTua||3:41:54|
|2 Chris Sutton (AUs) Garmin-Slipstream|
|3 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Fly V Australia||both s.t.|
|4 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin-Slipstream||0:04|
|5 David Pell (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|6 Dean Downing (GBr) Rapha Condor|
|7 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Jayco Australia National|
|8 David Tanner (Aus) Rock Racing|
|9 Richard Lang (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|10 Mitchell Pearson (Aus) Prime Estate|
|11 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Rock Racing|
|12 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly|
|13 Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco AIS|
|14 Nick Aitken (Aus) Jayco Australia National|
|15 Benjamin Day (Aus) Fly V Australia|
|16 Jai Crawford (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|17 David Mccann (Irl) Prime Estate|
|18 Simon Richardson (GBr) Rapha Condor|
|19 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor|
|20 Joe Lewis (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|21 Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|22 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Jayco AIS|
|23 Peter Latham (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|24 Philip Zajicek (Aus) Fly V Australia|
|25 Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|26 Paul Mach (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|27 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|28 Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|29 Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|30 Tom Southam (GBr) Rapha Condor|
|31 Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Aisan|
|32 Tom Peterson (USA) Garmin-Slipstream|
|33 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly|
|34 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream|
|35 Cameron Jennings (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|36 Darren Rolfe (Aus) Fly V Australia|
|37 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Slipstream||all s.t.|
|38 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin-Slipstream||0:16|
|39 Takumi Beppu (Jpn) Aisan||0:34|
|40 Omer Kem (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling||1:12|
|41 Brett Tivers (NZl) Prime Estate||18:21|
|42 Michael England (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|43 Peter Smith (Aus) Prime Estate|
|44 Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream|
|45 William Dickeson (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|45 John Cornish (Aus) Prime Estate|
|47 Luke Fetch (Aus) Prime Estate|
|48 Blair Windsor (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|49 Nic Sanderson (Aus) Rock Racing|
|50 David Kemp (Aus) Fly V Australia|
|51 Will Routley (Can) Jelly Belly|
|52 Lars Pria (Rou) LeTua|
|53 Jeremy Yates (NZl) LeTua|
|53 Peter Ladd (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|55 Benjamin King (Aus) Fly V Australia|
|56 Herz Serge (Ger) LeTua|
|57 Ivan Dominguez (USA) Rock Racing|
|58 John Anderson (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|59 Thomas Nankervis (Aus) Jayco Australia National|
|60 Joel Pearson (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|61 Cody O'reilly (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|62 Tim Roe (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|63 Takeaki Ayabe (Jpn) Aisan|
|64 Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Aisan|
|65 Benjamin Grenda (Aus) Praties|
|66 Andrew Roe (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|67 Jason Rigg (Aus) Praties|
|68 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) Savings & Loans|
|69 Joshua Chugg (Aus) Praties|
|70 Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly|
|71 Bradley Huff (USA) Jelly Belly|
|72 Peter Mcdonald (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|73 Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Rapha Condor|
|74 Ben Greenwood (GBr) Rapha Condor|
|75 Nathan Earle (Aus) Praties|
|76 Adam Semple (Aus) Jayco AIS|
|77 William Clarke (Aus) Praties|
|78 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor|
|79 Malcolm Rudolph (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|80 Kyle Marwood (Aus) Praties|
|81 Masahiro Shinagawa (Jpn) Aisan|
|81 Kenichi Suzuki (Jpn) Aisan|
|83 Jonny Clarke (USA) Jelly Belly|
|84 Ji Wen Low (Sin) LeTua|
|85 Mitsuhiro Matsumura (Jpn) Aisan|
|86 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Prime Estate|
|87 Dean Windsor (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|88 Richie Porte (Aus) Jayco Australia National|
|89 Gene Bates (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|90 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Jayco Australia National|
|91 Dylan Newell (Aus) Praties|
|92 Patrick Shaw (Aus) Jayco Australia National|
|93 Leigh Howard (Aus) Jayco AIS|
|94 Glenn O'shea (Aus) Jayco AIS||all s.t.|
|95 Zak Dempster (Aus) Drapac Porsche||0:04|
|DNF Mohd Hafiz Rozli (Mas) LeTua|
|DNF Adrian Why Kit Chuah (Mas) LeTua|
|DNF Mathew Crane (USA) Jelly Belly|
|DNF Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Fly V Australia|
|DNF Justin Williams (USA) Rock Racing|
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