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November 18, 2017
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  • Michele

    I’m loving this series Cycling Tips. Thanks for putting these together.

    Confession time … Kelly was just making his mark in pro cycling when I first started to follow the sport.

    I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t a fan of his. Why? He was “European” enough (read Italian / French / Spanish).

    Now, I’m a huge fan. Reviewing archive footage of him; great to watch. Love reading his thoughts, and listening to him. He’s a very insightful character.


    • Shane Stokes

      Thanks Michelle, we have more of these in the works…!

    • Michele,

      I understand your original feeling…. and that’s exactly why he was my hero!!
      As a young boy growing up in rural Ireland, I loved that fact that he was out there dominating Europe with his strong Irish accent, pale skin and hard persona. It was inspiring to see someone who looked and sounded like a local (to us) having such success on an international stage. He was a beast on the bike…a fierce competitor.

      • Michele

        Understand completely. I deeply regret not appreciating his exploits at the time.

        I also have a mate (not into cycling) that comes from the same town as Kelly (Carrick-on-Suir). My mate heads home each year and occasionally bumps into Kelly. Reckon he’s a ripper bloke, though I don’t think he appreciates just how good a cyclist he was.

      • Steven Andrews


    • jules

      Kelly is awesome because he came from a non-cycling culture. Hard as nails, you can imagine that was instrumental in his making it on the Euro scene. His palmares are amazing too. Obviously he’s famous in cycling but I don’t think he gets enough credit. I used to follow cycling through magazines back then and I just remember all the race reports, with Kelly seemingly on almost every podium.

      • Michele

        I agree with your thoughts re: not enough credit. In my previous post I was going to say I still reckon he’s one of the more underrated riders in pro cycling history.

        Yep, I was so naive when I first came into cycling … 16 years of age. I was a wanna be Italian, [and I hadn’t even seen Breaking Away at that time] who loved the “exoticism” and mystery that was, to me, professional racing. I do wish I had my time again, I would have appreciated that era a lot more, and riders like Anderson, Kelly, Roche, Peiper, Hampsten, et al, in a completely manner.

  • George Knowledge

    Enjoyable interview. I often listen to him during Eurosport broadcasts; he is a man of few words but his comments are always right to the point and he is a perfect partner with the naturally verbose, Carlton Kirby.
    Keep the up the good work with these interviews
    thank You

  • Spider

    Can recommend his book….his tales of his time in the pack are a fantastic read

  • Flash

    Sean Kelly, one of the greats of cycling, there is no doubt about it. I loved watching and reading about him in the 80’s.
    A one day specialist winning a Grand Tour, imagine Tom Boonen winning a Grand Tour, and you have a comparison.
    The harder it was, the better he was. I enjoy reading about him still, and also listening – great article.
    And there was also another handy rider from Ireland who had a very special yr in 1987.

  • Rob Biddlecombe

    Underrated ? unapreciated ? I started riding and following cycling in 1984. I read all the cycling magazines. From 84 thru 89 no one won more races and had more podiums than Sean Kelly. His picture was in every magazine issue He was racing for the win in almost every big race. No one matched his presence. Hinault (from 84 on) Fignon, Lemond, Moser, nor anyone else came close in wins. He was the number one ranked rider in the world I think Five years in a row. When I think of cycling in the 80’s I think of Kelly.With just a little more luck he could have won two Vueltas, at least one Flanders and a world championship as well. He was called “king Kelly” and he was rated as high as the other two men called the king (kenny Roberts and Elvis Presley) Long live the king


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November 18, 2017
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