This month, on August 18, starting from Tartu, the Baltic Chain Tour has an important mission to fulfill. Amidst all the sports and organizational objectives, it is even more crucial to maintain a sense of unity between the three Baltic countries’ cycling federations, preserving a broad collaborative spirit and striving to advance the entire region in terms of sports.
The Estonian continental-level team registered with the International Cyclist Union (UCI), Tartu2024 Cycling Team, also contributes to the Baltic mission. Led by Rene Mandri, the youth team was established with the ambition of elevating our young athletes and supporting our neighboring countries, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland.
Over time, a considerable number of riders have benefited from the team’s support – after the 2019 season, Norman Vahtra and Oskar Nisu moved up to higher levels, followed by Rait Ärm and Markus Pajur in the fall of 2020, Antti-Jussi Juntunen from Finland in 2021, and Aivaras Mikutis from Lithuania after the last season. The team has also played a crucial role in Madis Mihkels’ development.
In the upcoming Baltic Chain Tour, Tartu2024 Cycling Team will undoubtedly be a significant force, contending for the top positions. Two “Frenchmen,” Markus Pajur and Siim Kiskonen, have gained exceptional momentum in the middle of the summer.
Pajur, who represented the French top club Arkea-Samsic for two seasons, faced setbacks before the season but has now regained self-confidence and courage, as reflected in his results. He has claimed several national championships and even won the Estonian Cup mountain biking marathon series despite tire punctures.
Kiskonen spent six seasons as an amateur cyclist in France, and just a month ago, he achieved his first UCI category victory in Poland, also securing the overall win in the cycling tour. Scoring two titles with one race.
With the addition of Lithuanian rider Rokas Adomaitis, Latvian rider Alekss Krasts, and Estonian riders Lauri Tamm and Aaron Aus, who will soon compete in the U23 road race at the upcoming World Championships, the Baltic Chain Tour will feature a very strong lineup.
“Anyone who wants to win this year’s cycling tour must seriously consider Tartu2024 Cycling Team,” predicts the tour’s chief organizer, Allar Tõnissaar. “They are a powerful force, demonstrating excellent teamwork and increasingly mature tactical play. I dare to say that, as a team, they might be even more dangerous than the Estonian national team.”
According to the latest information, the Baltic Chain Tour will host teams from 14 different countries and riders from 24 nations, including the first-ever team from Levante Fuji Shizuoka, Japan. The tour will pass through Valga and Sigulda on its way to Panevežys by August 20. Each country, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, will host one stage of the tour.
On the evening of August 17, the teams’ official presentation will take place at the Estonian National Museum (ERM). The event is open to the public, and interested individuals can attend free of charge; just come to the venue! Find times from our Program.