Friday, November 12, 2010
A Kellyian 1984
One hundred and ninety-four is the number of victories Sean Kelly achieved in his astounding 17 year cycling career. His most successful season came in 1984 when he racked up 34 wins.
Kelly enjoyed absolute control of cycling totalitarianism never before witness since the exhilarating days of Merckx. Riding for his great mentor, Jean De-Gribaldy he was leader for the Skil-Reydel-Sem-Mavic team. He blasted into that season with monumental effectiveness winning a soggy Paris-Roubaix then a week later Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Irishman finished second in Milan SanRemo & the Tour of Flanders.
He rode as the number '1' rider of the world and one by one placed at or near the top of his races. Under the guidance of De-Gribaldy, the Skil team also had the former great classic rider, Alberic 'Iron Brik' Schotte as one of the managers. I'm sure Kelly learned a great deal under Schotte as the Belguim was known as the Last of the Flandrians. Kelly took up the same Flandrian mentality of excelling under the tough weather/working conditions of Belgium.
After his Paris-Roubaix victory, Kelly was an adopted 'Flandrian' and already nicknamed, 'The king of the classics.' That year he would go on to win his first of three Super Prestige Pernod Trophy's for the best rider of the year. A 'Cannibal' like year for King Kelly!