The most successful Irish sportsmen ever was never a man of many words. Sean Kelly’s skill was to ride bicycles. Triumphs were his speech.
In a time were people transcribe autobiographies in their early twenties, Kelly took his time. He retired from professional cycling in 1994 and just now released his book.
The man from Carrick-on-Suir in South Tipperary, Ireland is know for his introversion and for him to open up in a book seems to be a slight spectacle. The 70s and 80s cycling area charms me and since I appreciate the classics and the era that surrounds those races, I have appreciated Kelly.
For me the most fascinating part was reading about his childhood and training in Ireland. I passed through Kelly’s hometown several times when I was living on the isle and I was always intrigued by his aura. Having met him once all my pre-made up clichés and expectations seemed to be true.
The man who took seven straight wins at the Paris-Nice, just to name my personal highlight, delivered a book that is entertaining and not self-promoting. Insight into cycling’s heartland, several team mangers and mates and agreements that were “made on the road”. Don’t expect a book that debates about “juice” and what happened in the hotel rooms. As Kelly states: “I’m not a great one for reflecting or reminiscing”. Give him that and enjoy a book that’s talking and delivering the beauty of road cycling.