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Sean Kelly Photo Gallery

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Win list | Pro teams | Photos |

Sean Kelly (born May 24, 1956 in Waterford, Ireland) was the dominating classics rider of his time. He was so good he won Paris-Nice an astonishing seven times in a row (1982-1988).

After an impressive amateur career he turned pro for Velda-Flandria to be a leadout rider for Freddy Maertens. Moving to another team sponsored by Flandria but managed by Jean de Gribaldy, he soon shed his domestique duties and was racing for his own account.

Kelly possessed a fearsome sprint. Moreover, he didn't need a leadout train to make his way to the front of a race, he could win the mass romps by himself. He was also a superb time trialist, as his first and second placings in the GP des Nations attests.

He hit his stride in 1982 when he won his first Paris-Nice and the first of his four Tour de France green jerseys. Though he won the Vuelta (thanks to sprint time bonuses and his time trialing) and several shorter stage races, he was never a real contender to win the Tour de France general classification. The Tour's extreme climbing did not suit his talents and he did not thrive in France's July heat.

He was a real hard man, a flahute, and won some of racing's most difficult single-day races, including Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Giro di Lombardia and Gent-Wevelgem.

Like Eddy Merckx, his last big win was Milano-San Remo. He is generally credited with winning 193 pro races, making him one of the best riders to have never won the World Championship (though he came in third twice).

Major victories and high placings:

1972:

1973:

1976:

1977:

1980:

1981:

1982:

1983:

1984: 33 victories

1985:

1986:

1987:

1988:

1989:

1990:

1991:

1992

Professional Teams:

1977: Flandria-Velda
1978: Flandria-Velda-Lano
1979: Splendor-Eurosoap
1980: Splendor-Admiral
1981: Wickes-Splendor-Europ Decor
1982-1983: Sem-France Loire
1984-1985: Skil-Reydel
1986-1987: KAS
1988: KAS-Canal 10
1989-1991: PDM-Concorde
1992: Lotus-Festina
1993: Festina-Lotus
1994: Catavana-AS Corbeil Essonnes-Cedico

Nickname: King Kelly


Photos:

Sean Kelly rides the 1992 Tour de France prologue

Kelly rides the 1982 Tour de France prologue.

Sean Kelly leads the pack in the 1983 World Championships

Sean Kelly leads the pack in the 1983 World championships.

Sean Kelly rides the 1984 Tour de France

Kelly digs deep on the way to La Ruchere in stage 15 of the 1984 Tour de France.

Sean Kelly climbs l'Alpe d'Huez in the 1984 Tour de France

More climbing for Kelly, this time up l'Alpe d'Huez in stage 16 of the 1984 Tour.

Sean Kelly

Kelly gets ready to ride the 1984 Giro di Lombardia.

Sean Kelly wins the 1985 Giro di Lombardia

Kelly drives for the win in the 1985 Giro di Lombardia.

Sean Kelly after the 1985 Giro di lombardia

After Kelly won the 1985 Giro di Lombardia he got some help cleaning up.

Sean Kelly wins 1986 Milano-San Remo in front of greg LeMond

Sean Kelly wins the 1986 Milano-San Remo in front of Greg LeMond.

Sean Kelly at the start of the 1988 Milano-San Remo

Kelly doesn't seem too stressed at the start of the 1988 Milano-San Remo.

Sean Kelly climbing to Villard de Lans in the 1988 Tour de France

Kelly climbing to Villard de Lans in stage 12 of the 1988 Tour de France.

Sean Kelly gets third in the 1989 world road cycling championships

Chambery, France: Sean Kelly gets third behind Dmitri Konyshev and winner Greg Lemond at the 1989 World Road Cycling Championships.

Kelly gets ready to ride the 1990 Tour prologue

1990 Tour de France: Kelly gets ready to ride the prologue. Note the toe clips and straps, he was a very late convert to clipless pedals.

Kelly in the 1990 Giro di lombardia

Sean Kelly rides the 1990 Giro di Lombardia.

Sean Kelly in the 1991 Tour de France

Kelly at stage 1a in Lyon of the 1991 Tour de France.

Sean Kelly wins the 1991 Giro di Lombardia

Sean Kelly wins the 1991 Giro di Lombardia.

Sean Kelly

Kelly rode for PDM from 1989 to 1991

Kelly in the 1992 Milano San Remo

1992 Milano-San Remo, Kelly wins in front of Moreno Argentin.

Sean Kelly at the start of the 1992 Paris-Roubaix

Kelly at the start of the 1992 Paris-Roubaix.

Kelly starts hi stage 3 ride to Sansepulcro

Kelly in the start house of stage 3 of the 1992 Giro d'Italia.

Sean Kelly starts his prologue ride i the 1992 Giron

Sean Kelly starts his prologue ride in the 1992 Giro d'Italia.

Kelly at stage 9 of the 1992 Tour de France

Stage 9 in Luxembourg of the 1992 Tour de France.

Sean Kelly in stage 14 of the 1992 Tour de France

1992 Tour de France stage 14: Kelly climbs to l'Alpe d'Huez.

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