"There is a lot of trepidation about this stage both because of the climb and the weather."
-Davis Phinney. 7-Eleven Hoonved. Before Stage 14 from Chiesa to Bormio. 1988 Giro d'ltalia.
"Everyone was freaked out. I mean, I'd already been shivering uncontrollably on the earlier descents. There was no sunshine - it was nothing but rain and snow all day. And yeah, some guys were saying, "Don't attack." The conditions were terrible. The riders really wanted to go slow and not race, but that wasn't happening.
I could see that everyone was terrified, so I just said to myself, "I'm going to do it. I'll save five per cent for the descent and go for it. I attacked right at the base because I could see that a lot of people were worried.
7-Eleven were the only team that had adequate warm clothing. We had a guy waiting at the top with a musette bag full of warm clothes for every rider. We had a guy waiting at the top with a musette bag full of warm clothes for every rider. Prior to that day, cars didn't have rain bags - the bag of warm, wet weather gear for riders that sits in the team car in case of the unexpected. That was a 7-Eleven innovation.
Psychologically, no one can explain how tough it was - 25km of descending in freezing snow and sleet. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Everyone who crossed the finish line that day had to dig incredibly deep to get there. When I talk to the other riders today, it's never, "So and so did this," or "Yeah, Breukink won." It's, "Wow, you were on the Gavia in '88."
-Andy Hampsten. 1988 Giro d'ltalia winner