By Graham Healy
In 1984, Sean Kelly enjoyed one of his best seasons of an incredible career. In addition to winning Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice, the Tour of the Basque Country, Kelly also took his first victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Kelly had just come off the back of his win in Roubaix, and was considered the big favourite by many, including Greg LeMond.
The race really started in earnest with 40 kilometres remaining when Phil Anderson and Laurent Fignon went clear on the third last climb, Mont Theux.
On the penultimate climb of the Cote de la Redoute, local rider Claude Criquielion set off in pursuit of the two leaders as another chase group of six comprised of Kelly, LeMond, Steven Rooks, Acacio da Silva, Marc Madiot and Joop Zoetemelk formed behind.
Fignon and Anderson worked well together but their lead never got more than about twenty seconds. Kelly and Criquielion did much of the work behind and the leaders were finally brought back with two kilometres remaining.
In those last few kilometres, a number of riders including Rooks and Madiot tried to go clear but were brought back each time. It came down to a sprint and Kelly just about managed to get the win to continue an incredible season.
In winning both Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the same season, Kelly became just the third rider ever to achieve such a feat. The first being Rik van Looy in 1961 with Eddy Merckx doing the double in 1973. No other rider since Kelly has done the Roubaix-Liege double.
Liège – Bastogne – Liège 1984 Results
1. Sean Kelly 06:47:31
2. Phil Anderson 00:00:00
3. Greg LeMond 00:00:00
4. Steven Rooks 00:00:00
5. Acacio Da Silva 00:00:00
6. Marc Madiot 00:00:00
7. Claude Criquielion 00:00:03
8. Laurent Fignon 00:00:03
9. Joop Zoetemelk 00:00:03
10. Pascal Jules 00:01:42
What a Champion.