36. A chat with Sean Kelly

Nov 10, 2015, 10:00 PM
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November 11 | With Richard and Daniel away, this week Lionel Birnie sits down with Sean Kelly to talk about his early days as a professional rider, his first win, his first Tour de France and his first (and only) day in the yellow jersey.

The Irishman topped the world rankings for much of the 1980s and earned the nickname King Kelly during a spell of Classics dominance in 1984, when he won Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in the same spring – a feat not repeated until John Degenkolb did it this year.

In this interview, he talks about the fear he felt when he won his first race as a teenager in rural Ireland, the controversy that meant he was banned from the 1976 Olympics and subsequently led to him turning professional, his first Tour and losing that maillot jaune not once but twice…

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