The London-Paris Cycle Tour have announced that one of the greatest professional riders ever, Sean Kelly, will be riding the 2007 event. Sean was one of the most dominant and successful cyclists of the 1980s and he is regarded as one of the finest Classics riders of all time. His victories include a Grand Tour victory and an unprecedented seven successive wins in the Paris-Nice stage race.
Sean’s professional career spanned 18 years and included 193 wins – which has only been surpassed by Eddy Merckx. He took part in 14 Tour de France Tours – winning the Points Jersey 4 times and also had wins in the Vuelta Espana, Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege amongst others.
Commenting on the London-Paris Cycle Tour, Sean said, “The L2P has taken cycling events for amateurs to an extraordinary level. Riding with all the backup, support, mechanics and road closures as if in a professional peleton is a unique experience. This is one of the few events where top level riders and passionate amateurs from all over the world can mix and share a wonderful Tour de France style experience.”
Sean, well known for his super hard riding qualities added, “There have been some very gritty performances over the past years and I look forward to sharing those experiences with the L2P riders in 2007!”
Matt Stephens, ex Giro and Elite British Premier Calendar rider will be joining Sean on L2P 2007. Matt and Sean shared a podium in 1989 when Sean Kelly was runner up to Eric Vanderaerden in the Nissan International Classic. Matt won as the best Amateur Rider as a 19 year old.
Commenting on this co-incidence Matt Stephens said, “Sean Kelly is probably the greatest Classics rider ever. Those experiences at the Nissan Classic with my boyhood hero laid part of the foundation for my racing career and having him ride the L2P will inspire all participants into achieving their own personal aims ‘en route’ to Paris. It will be wonderful to ride with the great man once more and shows in what high regard the L2P is now held.”
Sven Thiele, founder and Chairman of the London-Paris Cycle Tour, said, “The L2P is delighted to have Sean Kelly riding. The presence of such a great rider will motivate the riders even more for 2007. Sean’s sociable nature and gritty performances really engenders the spirit of the L2P.”
The London-Paris Cycle Tour
This is a unique, multi-stage, 600km, Tour de France style endurance event for amateur and cyclosportif riders. The L2P is almost 600 km in length over three days. The route starts in Kingston (Hampton Wick) on the outskirts of London and then travels southwards through the North and South Downs to Portsmouth. The riders then cross the channel on overnight ferry to St Malo, France. Day 2 is from St Malo to Alencon, and Day 3 from Alencon to Versailles, Paris. An informal prize giving is held with the following day a rest day. The riders return to London on Eurostar.
The event attracts riders from all over the world and is known for its friendly, sociable atmosphere. The Tour includes rolling road closures in France, support vehicles, staff and mechanics allowing riders to concentrate on cycling. The L2P takes place from 28 June – 1 July 2007.