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Seán Kelly leading out the cyclists at Ballyvaughan on Saturday.

Cycling with legend Seán Kelly in The Burren

John Galvin WHEN Peter O’Connell’s first action as the new editor of The Clare Champion was to send me to Ballyvaughan to cycle 60km early on a Saturday morning, I feared for our future professional relationship. I don’t do mornings, particularly on bank holiday weekends. There were extenuating circumstances, as this was no ordinary cycle. It was a cycle led off by none other than the legendary Seán Kelly. Suddenly, I was interested. My brothers and I grew up through the era of the twin cycling supernovas. Kelly and Stephen Roche divided the spoils between them seemingly at will through the ’80s. While Roche won the big one, the Tour de France and got to meet Charlie Haughey on the Champs Élysées, in our house, it was the quiet man from Carrick who was the big hero. Although he started with the reputation of just being a sprinter, he became a consummate all-rounder, able to lead a breakaway or power …

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