Many people in Irish cycling know Vinny Cronin . He is a good buddy of Sean Kellys’ and it can be easy to see why . He never looks comfortable on the bike but always hangs in no matter how hard it gets . He is as hard as nails and has covered thousands of tough miles throughout Ireland and France . The wetter the day and the stronger the wind the more he comes into his own . He was once seen serenading a pit bull terrier with an accordian and a baseball hat in a cafe in Roubaix at three in the morning .
Yesterday he told me that one day when he was really suffering at the back of the group and had decided that he had enough he said ‘ I’ll leave ye off lads and make my way own way home ‘ But one of the lads listening to this was his buddy Kelly . He said that Kelly dropped back beside him and quietly said ‘ Don’t ever , ever tell anyone that your giving up . Always try to hang in there as long as you can but never tell anyone that your giving up . The first person to hear that is yourself and that will finish you straight away .’
Kelly then went on to say that when racing he would always race the same way , no matter how he felt . If he felt strong he would go with any decent move , but also when he was suffering he would still go with all of the moves so that none of his competitors would ever know when he was going well or not . This often paid off when he got a second wind near the finish and was there to unleash his unstopable sprint . If he had not raced as if he was going well he would not have been there sprinting for the win .
As Cronin says ‘ To just watch and listen to a guy like Kelly you would learn more than any University course .’