Giro d'Italia 1988: Legendary Gavia

Much has been written on the famous, or infamous, 1988 Giro d'ltalia Gavia stage.

It was snowing heavily before the stage start, and many riders were in scare mode.

The Gavia is 2618 m, very steep and covered in snow.

Andy Hampsten, with the help from a well-prepared 7-Eleven team, rode through that torturous day, finishing behind stage winner Eric Breukink, took over the pink jersey for good to win the overall.

The Gavia...
add foul weather, it's another

Hampsten said of the day that “It was the most difficult day of my life. nobody would have complained or argued with me if I had pulled over and not raced. It was above and beyond what anyone is asked to do at a race.

“After I crossed the finish line, I headed straight for our our soigneur, Julie. I was in such a rage trying to get down the mountain in one piece that when our team doctor, Max Testa, came up behind me and tried to put his jacket around me, I didn’t realize who it was and since he was keeping me from Julie and my warm clothes, I started punching him. eventually I got in the team car, which was running it’s heater full blast! when I started to warm up the pain started to come back. Mike then told me I had the jersey and the pain and the euphoria swept over me and I just started crying, laughing and shaking. A whole wave of emotions covering the range of finishing the stage to the realization that I would survive gave me a brief and refreshing emotional meltdown. . . .
“Within 10 minutes of the finish, I was up on the podium. the pink jersey felt good. I slipped it on and all my doubts went away.”
"Today it was not sport... it was something beyond sport."
Twenty-five years later... it remains legendary.


Farelli said…
Is't cycling history great? I miss a little word about the great and super foolish Johan van der Velde, in the opinion of many THE man of the day.
Richard said…
absolutely, the man that loss a hugh chunk of time... 48mins