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The Mallorca 312-Giant-Taiwan Pays Tribute to Special Guest Sean Kelly This Weekend

by Nick Gregory

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Sean Kelly, winner of nine Monuments in professional cycling in the 1980s, will be the honoree of the Mallorca 312 - Giant - Taiwan sportive this weekend, where he will wear the prestigious bib number 312. 

The Irishman, nicknamed 'King Kelly' for his dominance of the Classics, still loves the one-day races, and this seems to extend to the Mallorca312 as well - this will be his third appearance at the event. However, this will be the first year he will attempt the full 312km lap of the island. 

The event was rated by Cyclosport as one of the Top 5 Overseas Sportives last year. Deputy Editor, Nick Gregory tackled the 2014 edition - read his full review HERE.

The experience of riding more than 300 kilometers will not be new to Kelly though, as he twice won Milan-San Remo during his pro career, the longest and possibly most demanding of the spring classics. He also boasts two victories at Paris-Roubaix, three at the Tour of Lombardy and two at the Liège-Bastogne-Liège. 

Between 1982 and 1988, he also won seven editions of Paris-Nice in a row, as well as five stages in the Tour de France - donning the green jersey four times in the process. He won the overall title at the Vuelta a España in 1988; a race where he also won the points classification four times and sixteen individual stages. 


His victories in the Volta a Catalunya, Tour of the Basque Country, Criterium International, Tour of Switzerland, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours round off one of the most impressive palmares in professional cycling history. 

Kelly's love for Mallorca can be traced back to his first victory as an amateur on the island in 1976 at the now defunct Cinturón de Mallorca. Now retired, the Irishman says he likes the kind of cycle tourism Mallorca offers to riders and he states that the Mallorca312 is one of his favourite international sportives on the calendar. 

"The number of cyclists grows every year," says Kelly. "It's a pleasure to meet everyone at the Mallorca 312. For younger people, it is important to see former professional cyclists who have participated in major events like the Tour de France. Here they can meet their idols. It is an event enjoyed by all." 

Pedro Horrillo, Joseba Beloki and Fernando Escartín will be present at the start of the Mallorca312 again this year, taking part as they have done every year since the first edition. Together with Kelly, these former pros will be joined by 3,000 participants on Saturday 25 April. 

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