Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Classic Video: 1988 Giro's Gavia Pass Nightmare

The video quality isn't so great, and the fuzzy foreigner doing the commentary didn't have the decency to speak American, but this rare footage of the 1988 Giro d'Italia's Stage 14 provides a glimpse of the brutally numbing conditions riders faced that day on the Gavia Pass.

Andy Hampsten, riding for the 7-Eleven squad, topped the pass with Dutchman Erik Breukink and survived the bone-chilling 25k descent that followed. Hampsten finished second that day behind Breukink, but his heroic effort pushed him to the top of the overall standings on his way to becoming the first (and only) American to win the Giro.