Sean Kelly, an Irishman from Carrick-on-Suir, was a professional cyclist from 1977 to 1994 and is considered one of the greats. While he never won the Tour de France, he won the Tour's green jersey four times - a record until the coming of Erik Zabel. He did, however, win a major tour, taking the Vuelta (the Tour of Spain) in 1988 - with only serious bad luck having prevented him from winning it the previous year. His record of seven consecutive wins in the Paris - Nice stil stands though - the only professional to date to have accomplished that in any race. His form for the classics was always excellent - he won 22 in total, including the Tour of Lombardy, the Paris - Roubaix, Milan - San Remo and Liege - Bastogne - Liege. He won two bronze medals in the World Championships, the inaugural World Cup and the Super Prestige Pernod Trophy three times. Since retirement in 1994, his main involvement in professional cycling has been commentating for Eurosport.
"A Man for All Seasons" is divided into four sections - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each section relates to a period of Kelly's career, and each has an introduction written by David Walsh. Walsh also wrote a biography of Kelly in the 1980s - which now (sadly) appears to be out of print. The majority of each section is made up of a series of photographs, relating to that section of Kelly's career. Kelly himself briefly outlines the story behind each photo - providing, for example, a few details on the race being contested and the other riders pictured.
Although it has missed the last few years of Kelly's career, this is a book well worth having - particularly for anyone who idolised the man himself (like me) or who followed cycling in general while he was a professional. The photographs make up the bulk of the book, and they do inspire a certain feeling of nostalgia. While the focus is obviously on Kelly, cyclists like Stephen Roche, Adri van der Poel, Eric Vanderaerden and a very young looking Laurent Fignon also feature.