Iconic cyclist Sean Kelly to speak in Mullingar

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Shay O’Toole, Damien Shaw, and Sean Kelly at the 2012 National Cycling Championships in Clonmel. Part-time firefighter Shaw (28) placed eighth in the 2011 Nationals, but was a little preoccupied last year winning won a bronze medal in the London Paralympics as sighted pilot for James Brown in the 1,000m tandem pursuit.

Shay O’Toole, Damien Shaw, and Sean Kelly at the 2012 National Cycling Championships in Clonmel. Part-time firefighter Shaw (28) placed eighth in the 2011 Nationals, but was a little preoccupied last year winning won a bronze medal in the London Paralympics as sighted pilot for James Brown in the 1,000m tandem pursuit.

One of the greatest figures in Irish sport will be in Mullingar next week when the Lakeside Wheelers host an interview with cyclist Sean Kelly on Friday March 22.

The local cycling club will also hold a question and answer session in the Greville Arms Hotel from 8.30pm on Friday with the man who was world number one for four years in a row.

“This is an amazing opportunity for all sports fans to come along and meet one of the true legends of world sport and arguably, Ireland’s greatest ever sportsman,” said club spokesman, Shay O’Toole.

Carrick-on-Suir native Kelly had a career that spanned 15 gruelling years in the professional peloton, during which he was the world’s top-ranked rider for four consecutive years.

He has competed in 13 Tours de France, won a record seven consecutive Paris-Nice Classics and also achieved his Grand Tour ambition by winning La Vuelta in 1988. This is cycling’s equivalent of a Grand Slam, and consists of the three big, national races in France, Spain, and Italy - Le Tour, La Vuelta, and Le Giro.

“Do not miss this unique chance to hear his personal story about the highs and lows of professional cycling and a sport which still dominates his life,” said Mr Shay.

The evening is open to all, and the €20 admission price will include a finger buffet.

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