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Sean Kelly: 'There are no riders capable of dominating the Classics'

Joe Robinson
7 Feb 2018

Only Sagan and Van Avermaet have the potential to win multiple Cobbled Classics according to 'King Kelly'

With two victories a piece at Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo among his nine career Monument victories, Sean Kelly is known for being a rider who dominated the Classics during his career.

Like more recent riders Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara, the man they call the 'King' was an ever-present threat in the Spring. A rider always capable of a result.

Most generations have their dominant rider or riders, however the Irishman believes that the current crop may be lacking a rider that is head and shoulders above the rest.

'Peter Sagan showed the promise to dominate the Classics but has not delivered over the past few years,' Kelly said.

'Greg Van Avermaet could step up and add to his Paris-Roubaix title and he is even capable of winning in the Ardennes but besides them two there isn't anyone in out there that could dominate the Classics,' he added.

While Van Avermaet's unprecedented 2017 Spring Classics success was impressive and Sagan has always shown great promise in the early season races, their palmares when it comes to the Monuments of March and April are thin.

Between the two riders, they have only managed to muster two Monuments. To put that into perspective, Kelly took victory in two Monuments in one year in 1986, snatching Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Kelly's comments may ring true to some extent but just do not tell Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors). Victory at the Tour of Flanders last year took him one step closer to realising his dream of winning all five Monuments.

If Gilbert was to complete 'Project Roubaix', he would be the first rider since Kelly to win both Liege and Roubaix, taking him just a Milan-San Remo away from something Kelly never achieved, victory in all five of the major one-day races.

Gilbert recently referred to victory at these two races as 'completing' his palmares and if that is not a sign of dominance then what is?