The Giro d’Italia is the first of the Grand Tours, and is one of the most challenging races the riders will face. In 1988, American cyclist Andy Hampsten won the Italian race, cementing his name in cycling history
But overall victory of the race aside, Hampsten is perhaps best remembered for his pivotal ride on stage 14 in which he became overall race leader, a stage which featured the infamous Gavia Pass.
Conditions were far from ideal for a cycle race. The weather was foul. Snow had fallen the night before, and continued to fall as the peloton approached the infamous mountain pass in the Italian Alps. And this was during a time when not all roads were covered in nice smooth Tarmac, but instead rough dirt roads.
Conditions and poor road surfaces aside, Hampsten made the race his. Attacking from the bottom of the 16% climb, he quickly reduced the peloton to a trailing wreckage of spent riders, and rode into the history books. It was a day that he would never forget. Better than words can illustrate, is this photo which better shows the hardship endured on that climb.
Which brings us neatly onto the subject of Rapha’s latest release, the Andy Hampsten Jersey. Celebrating the 20th anniversary since that glorious ride, this limited edition jersey is a replica of the Maglia Rosa Hampsten won in 1988. This jersey will perform substantially better than the clothing available during the late 80’s, being made from Sportwool and featuring a classic rib collar, zipper and cuff details and a collectors race number ‘172’ complete with safety pins for attachment. Available now in six sizes for £120.
Keep up with the latest 2008 Giro d’Italia action over at www.protournews.com.