Saturday, May 31, 2008

Giro '88

Probably go down as one of the toughest in history. The 20th anniversary of Andy Hampsten magnificent claim on the Maglia Rosa has arrived along with this year's Giro d'Italia. The name has been popping into my reader more often during this month as the Giro kicked off and the memory of a stage came back into focus of the climb up 8600 foot Passo di Gavia. By what I've read floating around the web this was a stage of mammoth proportions on a good day, sun shining and the robins singing. After an emergency meeting the race directors decided that the stage would continue through the treacherous conditions. Snow was pelting down, sometimes in big flakes near the top but ice cold slush at the bottom. When Hampsten summited the temperature had dipped bellow zero reading -4C on the thermometer. Vaseline, neoprene gloves and wool hats were all put to use but with conditions like these the wind still cut the peleton to pieces. That was just to get to the top as the storm was coming in from the north and the riders still needed to battle down the other side. Although Hampsten did not win the stage, urged on by his director sportif, Peter Post, Bruekink won the stage but left Hampsten win the pink.
Cyclingnews also wrote an article on his current titanium beast that he commutes on and wonders around the hills of Boulder, Colorado. Veolnews is also running a multipart series of articles on him: part 1, part 2, part 3. Andy Hampsten gave an interview and this was one of the best things I've read. "But I knew everyone was terrified… I was scared… So I attacked". Thats the best advice to anyone, when in doubt attack. Read the whole article for his version of events on that fateful day.
If you feeling really inspired by all this and have some spare change clanking around in your pockets, send it to me. No just kidding, but Rapha is offering a limited edition Hampsten Giro Jersey replica, made from wool with all the classic lines of the 80's jersey.
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