The chains that bind

Barry Ryan’s new book, The Ascent, chronicles the golden age of Irish professional cycling. At its heart, it is a story of young men chasing their dreams, growing together and then growing apart

24th September, 2017
Sean Kelly thrived in the harsh environment of 1980s cycling Pic: INPHO

The French professional road racing cyclist Noël Converset spent just one season in the professional peloton. In 1977, he rode alongside fellow neophyte Sean Kelly for the Flandria team, managed by the so-called ‘Viscount’, Jean de Gribaldy. But where Kelly flourished, Converset struggled; and at year’s end, his contract was not renewed. Cycling trundled on without him, and he resumed civilian life, working for his family’s clockmaking business in Héricourt, near Besançon....

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