The year 1988 was a truly monumental one for Andy Hampsten both individually and for his native United States. During that year’s Giro d’Italia, he triumphantly conquered the epic stage over the snowy and treacherous Passo di Gavia while wearing the leader’s pink jersey and continued on for the overall win as the first, and only, American to do so. Indeed, many readers likely have that now-infamous poster of Hampsten ascending the Gavia hanging on their wall.
“Twenty years…It can’t be that long ago!” stated Hampsten in a Rapha press release. “It was one of my great days on the bike, the Gavia. It was cold, there was snow…I went faster than the other guys. It had all the ingredients of an epic, memorable stage.”
UK-based cycling clothing maker Rapha will commemorate the occasion with a limited run of pink jerseys that pay homage to that historic day. The Merino Sportwool material offers a modern day equivalent to the thin pure wool jersey Hampsten wore that day (a material which Hampsten himself credits with helping to keep him warm) and the sewn-on white cloth panel displays a clever remake of Hampsten’s first name blended with his old 7-Eleven team logo.
“How Andy rode that stage through the snow was one of those magical days in our sport” Simon Mottram, Rapha founder
A cloth race number replica is also included along with the safety pins required to faithfully affix it to your back. Production will be limited to just 600 pieces and suggested retail pricing is set at US$205/£120.
“I love the design. Rapha’s doing a beautiful pink jersey, just like the race leader’s in the Giro, with the words Passo di Gavia 1988 on it. Absolutely gorgeous,” said Hampsten. Rapha’s founder, Simon Mottram, adds, “How Andy rode that stage through the snow while others fell to the side was one of those magical days in our sport. There wasn’t a chance we were going to let the heroics of that day pass without a celebrating Andy’s accomplishment.”
In distinct contrast to all too many retired pros, Hampsten continues to ride regularly and looks remarkably fit. This should perhaps come as no surprise considering he splits his time between the cycling-friendly locales of Boulder, Colorado and Castegneto Carducci, Italy. Hampsten and his company, Cinghiale Cycling Tours, also lead Italian cycling tours in Tuscany (and occasionally through the Dolomites) and run the aptly named Hampsten Cycles frame company with his brother, Steve.
For an alternative view of Hampsten’s day on the Gavia, click here.