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  Sean Kelly    

Picture courtesy of www.elsprint.com
Born on May 24, 1956, Sean Kelly was the dominant classics rider in the 1980’s.

Kelly began his professional career in 1977. He won almost every important race on the calendar except the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, and the World Championship Road Race.

Kelly did win a Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana in 1988 in front of Raimund Dietzen of Germany and Anselmo Fuerte of Spain.

Kelly won the Points Jersey in the Tour de France four times, in 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1989.

He also won the Points Jersey in the Vuelta a Espana four times, in 1980, 1985, 1986, and 1988.

Kelly won four out of five of cycling’s monuments for a total of nine victories in those races.

Kelly won the Paris-Roubaix Classic in 1984 in front of Rudy Rogiers of Belgium and Alain Bondue of France.

Kelly also won the Paris-Roubaix Classic in 1986 in front of Rudy Dhaenens of Belgium and Adri Van Der Poel of Holland.

In addition, Kelly was 3rd in the 1985 Paris-Roubaix Classic behind Marc Madiot of France and Bruno Wojtinek of France.

Kelly won the Milan-San Remo Classic in 1986 and 1992.

He won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic in 1984 and 1989.

He won the Tour of Lombardy Classic in 1983, 1985, and 1991.

Kelly was 3rd in 1982 World Championship Road Race behind Giuseppe Saronni or Italy and Greg Lemond of the USA.

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl
Kelly was also 3rd in the 1989 World Championship Road Race behind Greg Lemond of the USA and Dimitri Konyshev of Russia.

In addition, Kelly was 5th in the World Championship Road Race three times: in 1986, 1987, and 1990.

Kelly was a complete rider who could sprint, time-trial and climb with the best, although he did have trouble in the heat and on the major climbs in the Tour de France.

Kelly was a rider’s rider, a professional’s professional. His record in the Tour de France of fifteen starts and twelve finishes attests to this.

Kelly raced hard during entire racing calendar. In addition to his record in the Cycling Hall of Fame.com designated races, he also won the Paris-Nice a record seven times, the Tour of Switzerland twice, and the Grand Prix de Nations, the then most prestigious time trial of the year, once.

Kelly retired from professional competition in 1994 after 188 professional victories.

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