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The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  9 reviews

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and other events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is from Glanworth in County Cork.

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published September 22nd 2017 by Gill Books
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  65 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Gumble's Yard
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Outstanding account of Ireland and its influence on cycling.

The key part of the book is effectively twin biographies of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche – the book draws heavily on already published biographies and autobiographies of the two stars but with a critical eye

Firstly by presenting alternate views on some of the well-known stories (or at the least questioning how much is truth and how much is myth), for example

It is perhaps fortunate that a series of mech/>
...more
David C Ward
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite good although probably too detailed to interest anyone except for cycle racing aficionados. Also quite sad in a way as it charts the surprising prominence of Irish cycling in the 1980s through the careers of Kelly and Roche - two contrasting characters too. Although the races are foregrounded the real story is of the deals and the doping. The politics of Irish cycling or the UCI are not of much interest. And what to do about drugs remains unsolvable. The second half of this is really about ...more
Skuldintape
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
To the millennial cyclist (and metal fan), the reputation and lore of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche can feel a bit like Metallica. You know they're a big deal and they changed the genre's landscape, but in your life, they've only ever been part of the background, a cultural reference point to be sure but not one appreciated by you.
In this parable, The Ascent is like The Greatest Hits and unauthorised biography rolled into one. The rise, decline and achievements of these Irish greats are chr
...more
Gary Boland
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable story of Irish cyclings strong decade of the 1980s. Most of the skeletons remain in the closet though. No one admits to doping. The culture won't change with the attitude of 'deny til you die'
Kelly Pulley
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Sean Kelly was one of my favorite riders back in the day. The book was interesting but not enough to keep me up late reading. Took me a while to finish. If you're a fan of Kelly, Roche or cycling history it's worth reading.
Joe O'Donnell
“The Ascent” tells the story of how Ireland dominated the world of cycling during the 1980s, with Irish cycling superstars Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly between them winning every race or tour worth winning. The author and veteran cycling journalist Barry Ryan outlines how such was Roche and Kelly’s ascendancy that, at one point in 1988, between them the two Irish superstars were the holders of Cycling’s three grand tours, the World Championship, and the position of Cycling’s world number one. “T ...more
Ta0paipai
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
To the cycling insider, that is fan of the athletes and pro events, this book is five stars. It's well researched, well written and detailed.

However, to a cycling outsider, like myself, this book is a little dry. Perhaps my expectations are too blame, but I had hoped to spark my interest in cycling and my motivation for training. But neither happened.

I did enjoy this upstart story and am glad to have read it. But the lack of excitement means it fell flat.
RonamcManus
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant in-depth breakdown of Irish cycling, suitable for both cycling and non-cycling fans alike.
Graham Crosby
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
10/10 full of personal stories and truths

10/10 full of personal stories and truths, a great read for anyone with an interest in cycling. get it now
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