Mavic Les Héros du Cyclisme Collection
For most of his illustrious career, Kelly rode on Mavic wheels and with Mavic Equipment, so it makes perfect sense that for the first of their Les Héros du Cyclisme clothing collections Mavic has chosen to celebrate the achievements of John James ‘Sean’ Kelly, the farmer’s son from County Waterford, Ireland.
Rarely is the word ‘legend’ more appropriate than when discussing Ireland’s Sean Kelly. The tenacious Kelly was a rider who relished the hard yards, with many of his victories ground out of the mud and cobbles of northern Europe’s toughest races. He loved life at the sharp end of the race and was both revered and feared for his ability to perform in even the harshest of conditions, a talent he thanks the climate of his native Ireland for.
The professional cycling career of Sean Kelly spanned an amazing three decades, starting in 1977 and only concluding in 1994 after amassing an incredible palmares. He began racing against legends like Merckx and Hinault and was still competing when Lance Armstrong began his rise to dominance. Kelly enjoyed great success on the Grand Tours, winning the Vuelta a España outright in 1988 and taking the points jersey in the Tour de France and Vuelta four times apiece. His reputation was further cemented by an incredible unbeaten run of seven consecutive victories in Paris-Nice, the early season stage race through France. Kelly simply won every iteration of the event that he entered, starting in 1982.
Kelly could climb, time trial, breakaway and of course, sprint, making him a contender for the win on any stage in any race. However, arguably it was on the early season one-day Classics that he really thrived. Kelly racked up an impressive nine Monument victories, including Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege twice each.
The Mavic Ltd Sean Kelly Short Sleeve Jersey reflects Kelly’s all-round talent, with the polyester wool blend fabric wicking well when warm and insulating when cooler conditions prevail. Although Kelly would have been more than familiar with wool as a fabric used for cycling clothing he wouldn’t recognise the soft comfort and outstanding performance that modern Merino wool provides; the wool clothing of his early days would have been itchy, saggy and soaked up water like a sponge.
Like Sean himself, the jersey is understated and restrained but is a high-performance piece that will keep working tirelessly day after day in all conditions. The natural anti-bacterial properties of the wool keep unwanted odours at bay, whilst the three pockets and reflective highlights add to the jersey’s practicality. The neck print denotes the jersey’s part in Mavic’s Les Héros du Cyclisme collection, and an interior print celebrates his 193 professional wins and lists some of Kelly’s most lauded victories. Subtle tonal Sean Kelly branding and the Irish colours finish off the detail on this exclusive piece.
Practically synonymous with the Spring Classics is the ubiquitous cycling cap. This simple piece of headwear protects from the sun, shelters from the rain and prevents sweat from dripping down when the pace hots up. The Mavic Ltd Sean Kelly Cycling Cap ups the ante by using polyester instead of the usual cotton, to further enhance its performance properties and increase its ability to wick away moisture. Whether worn forwards or backwards, the under brim shows an image of Kelly for extra inspiration to keep pushing on when the weather turns or the road rises.
Salute the toughest of the hardmen of cycling with the Mavic Ltd Sean Kelly range and enjoy the benefits of modern clothing technology with a classic aesthetic.
Shop the Mavic Ltd Sean Kelly Range