Estonia's Youthful Cycling Hope Finishes 12th in Tour de France
Rein Taaramäe ( Photo: AFP/Scanpix )
Rein Taaramäe has finished 12th overall in the Tour de France, the best-ever result for an Estonian rider.
The 24-year-old came in second in the youth standings, 46 seconds behind Pierre Rolland from France.
Taarmaäe, who was on the Cofidis team, was 11 minutes, 29 seconds off the pace of the winner of the grueling two-week bicycle race, Australian Cadel Evans.
"Rolland and Taaramae, amongst others, are the great hopes of cycling," Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer was quoted as saying on cyclingnews.com.
Postimees reported that after the finish on Sunday, July 24, Rolland credited Taaramäe. Rolland said that the team's sports director had told him, "[The race] would be very hard as powerful contenders such Robert Gesink and Rein Taaramäe were on the course."
Veteran cyclist Jaan Kirsipuu, probably the best known Estonian cyclist internationally, has ridden in 10 Tours but has never finished. He has worn the yellow jersey four times, however.
The late Jaanus Kuum, who was active mainly during the Soviet era, finished 24th one year, which had been the best finish by an Estonian.