Bike culture: After his countless victories and his uncompromising dedication to the sport, Sean Kelly’s popularity on the Green Island be measured only with God. And as the man quickly and crass observes: it is Kelly who is wearing the leader’s Jersey in the duel.
Sean Kelly was one of the largest of the 1980s profiles within the sport of cycling. 193 WINS in professional races, is an impressive figure, that only Eddie Merckx can surpass.
One of the explanations for his greatness was the versatility, something that developed during the course of his career. He first became known as a sprinter by rank, but it soon proved that he had a wider range. He could orchestrate offshoots and clear mountain stages as well as any other cyclist.
Sean Kelly was truly a man of the people. Growing up in rural Ireland at Carraghduff, he did not much fuss of itself. He was taciturn, but always inclined to rip hard. When he left school at age 13, it was to help his father with agriculture, and later working as a paviour.
At the same time that he dropped out of school, he also began to take an interest in cycling. After some local races, it became clear that he had potential. in 1973, at the age of 17, he won the Irish junior title twice, and earned his senior license.
A decade of success
According to plans, Kelly take part in the Olympic Games in 1976 in Montreal, and that recharging, he went and some countrymen to South Africa to compete. The trip took place under a pseudonym, then freedom reign did visit politically incorrect and prohibited under international cycling body door.
A British journalist came them, however, on the tracks, and a suspension made the OS to an impossibility for Kelly. Instead, he was concentrating on the British and French races. Between 1977 and 1982 he went from strength to strength. Transitions between stable that Flandria and Splendor, with constantly increasing fees, and growing respect among their fellow competitors, strengthened his shares.
The biggest success so far came in 1982 when he won the Green Jersey in the Tour de France, as the best sprinter. This year, he also launched the mighty ‘ championship run in the race Paris-Nice, which would last for seven years.
And the 1980s was undoubtedly Kelly’s decade. in 1984, he took home 33 race victories and crowned his career in 1988, he with a magnificent victory in Spain. WINS in the Giro di Lombardia-83, 91-85 and were highlights before his career came to an end in 1994.
Cycle number one
Sean Kelly was a hard a cyclist with a hard character. Undoubtedly played his formative years into the making of this personality. The hard work of the Earth and the unruly rocks had taught Sean Kelly the need to tear into his sweat. He was not the glassige superstar who loved the spotlight. This meant that he could of journalists perceived as butter.
But in fact, this was a result of his professionalism. At one point it is told about how Kelly and his wife were on their way to a bike race with many bicycle lights, when she happened to make a mark in your car’s upholstery. A peeved Kelly dried off the mark, and the wife complained that there were two things in life that seemed more important than her car and her husband’s bike. Kelly stopped immediately in his wiping her eyes, staring deadpan: “cycle is always, always number one.”
The force gave popularity
When Sean Kelly retired in 1994, it was the end of an era. He was the last star that ran a full calendar. This attitude went back to the 1950s and has today been replaced by a setting in which to specialise and only running the type of competition in which one has the best chance to win.
The races where Kelly visited the homeland became pure pilgrimages and people went to ur huse. In his home town, he received both parades and squares named after themselves. Shoots Robert Millar said: “I’ve never ridden with someone who had such an aura of strength that Sean Kelly. To call him “iron man” is not enough. He is stainless, hardened steel “.