Sean Kelly is joined by some cycling greats as he brings an end to his professional career with a last race in Carrick-on-Suir.

The Sean Kelly Celebration Day race takes place in the Carrick-on-Suir, the hometown of the cycling great. The event attracts over 1,100 riders who get the chance to ride with Sean Kelly as he brings his 18 year professional career to a close.

Cycling greats and Tour de France winners including Stephen Roche, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Laurent Fignon came to pay tribute to the man known as one of the toughest in their sport.

Stephen Roche says the event marks the end of an era that has been great for Irish cycling. Sean Kelly is pragmatic rather than sad he understands,

It comes one day that we have to say enough and you have to stop, especially in professional sport.

The 45 mile race takes the cyclists over the Carrick-Kilsheelan-Glenbower circuit with speeds reaching up to 65 kph. The opening 35 miles of the race are set at a controlled speed of 15 miles per hour to facilitate the hundreds of fans who joined Kelly on their bikes in a final farewell. 

It was Sean Kelly’s day so there could only be one winner, giving the perfect finale to his professional career and taking his total of wins to 201.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 December 1994. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.