London Bike Show 2019
The King in conversation
11:00 - 12:00 (Friday)
One of the greatest classics riders of all time, Sean 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).
Sean's Q&A will be followed by a signing session on the Vitus Bikes stand at 1pm.
Professor Greg Whyte
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