Unforgettable Rides: Gavia 1988

Unforgettable Rides: Gavia 1988

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// Unforgettable Rides

  1. At the risk of upsetting Stefan – or is that Adrian- I remember reading an interview with Hampsten where he said the only reason he made it to the finish line was that his hotel was on the other side of it. If his hotel was in town before the line he would have packed and gone straight there.

  2. Frank – great article, and looking forward to the continuation of this series… oh, and welcome back Adrian.

  3. frank :
    @Jeff in PetroMetroMy favorite shot of him is him standing in the start gate of the final TT, with Factory Pilots, just standing there like a badass – all focus. Must find.

    Frank: It’s on page 71 of Watson’s “Visons of Cycling”. I also love Watson’s photoscript on the page about how Andy looks all arrogant and that it is so out of character for him. Super photo!

  4. @Stefan

    Yep, no sense rehashing topics that have already been covered, especially in art.

    Manet (1863)

    Monet (1865)

    Cezanne (1906)

    Picasso (1907)

    Yep, no sense in that…

  5. Jeff in PetroMetro :
    On my old Sears tool box, I still have a Cinelli sticker with Andy in pink diving into a corner on his time trial Huffy-bull horns, small front wheel, white shower cap, big Oakley Factory Pilots and all. And it looks like he’s wearing a Dutch orange Swatch.
    Picture may follow late tonight. Must leave for an appointment now. Dammit.

    Great attention to detail. Just checking out the TT start house pic and what is that watch that he is wearing? So bizarre. Pink band with orange face housing. but then again, it WAS the ’80’s!

  6. Ay, this is Stefan. His name is Stefan. Hey, Stefan, harden the fuck up.

  7. Marko :
    Ay, this is Stefan. His name is Stefan. Hey, Stefan, harden the fuck up.

    Un-fucking-believably well played! Totally lost some soda out the nose on that one.

  8. Epic. Lets hope Etna gives us a similar ride at this years Giro.

  9. Not to be a pedant, but the bike was actually a John Slawta built Land Shark and not a Serotta. The story can be found here:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/historic-pro-bike-andy-hampstens-1988-7-eleven-huffy-giro-ditalia

  10. Jklash :
    Not to be a pedant, but the bike was actually a John Slawta built Land Shark and not a Serotta. The story can be found here:
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/historic-pro-bike-andy-hampstens-1988-7-eleven-huffy-giro-ditalia

    “waiting expectantly for Oli to top that…)

  11. @Jklash

    Excellent work. Obviously you’re a Velominatus. Indeed you’re right:

    Though it wore the red, green and white livery and labels of official team sponsor Huffy, Hampsten’s bike was actually a custom made rig crafted to his specifications by famed US builder John Slawta of Land Shark after a team-issued frame broke beneath him earlier that spring at Fleche-Wallone. That failure was eventually sourced back to an errant shipment by the builder’s tubing supplier but still, Hampsten says his confidence was shaken and he wanted to go with something tried and true.

    “I felt bad about not using a Serotta [the company that actually built the team ‘Huffys’] and sticking with the team supplier,” Hampsten told us. “It wasn’t Serotta’s fault. But I was in a period of my life when I didn’t like crashing due to mystery bike failures, so I went with the sure ride I knew Land Shark would build for me.

  12. This post is Gold, Abolutely Gold. Love the story and wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way. Facts do not make legends, fans make legends.

  13. Nice one frank.

    A moment in (Cycling) time that has gone down in history to become part of legend. Like all good legends should, they get rehashed over time and with each re-telling, details start to blur and verisimilitude comes into its own.The beauty of this is that it then allows those re-telling or, in this day and age, re-blogging, the liberty to use ones own imagination or that part which is interesting to ones own benefit. This blog being case in point. Part of the reason I love coming to this site.
    I also think that Verisimiltude lies at the heart of what you have achieved through these pages. I admire you and the other Keepers and contributors for that. The fact that it also starts with the V isn’t a coincidence!
    Great idea for future articles, look forward to them. As for art, to use that well worn cliche – “don’t know much about art, but I know what I like” and I like cycling, ergo it’s definitely art to me!

  14. A great story about Davis Phinney and his Serotta built by Dave Kirk, now of Kirk Frameworks:

    Once a year, Davis Phinney, leader of the Coors Light professional cycling team, would come to the Serotta factory for a few days to boost the morale, get his hands dirty, go for a ride with the shop guys and visit the birthplace of his bikes.

    The rides were a ‘no one gets dropped’ type of ride and they were a good time to hang out on the bike and talk. We were heading back to the factory at a casual 15 mph when one of our builders, Richard, started taunting Davis. Richard called him names and told him that he didn’t think that Davis could stay on his wheel. Richard then sprinted up the road ahead of the group and Davis just smiled and laughed. After Richard got a good 200 meters up the road Davis asked, “Should I reel him in?” We were approaching a corner that I knew was full of gravel and sand but before I could give a warning Davis flew out of the group and up the road. I’ve ridden with some very strong riders but I’ve never seen anyone accelerate that quickly before and he was going an easy 35 mph when he passed Richard and dove into that dirty corner. I thought for sure he’d go down in the gravel and imagined the huge road rash he’d have. Yet Davis counter-steered into the corner, laid the bike way over and two wheel drifted through the corner in complete control – gravel spitting out from under the tires. The look on Richard’s face was priceless.

    This was remarkable in two ways. The most obvious was that Davis had no trouble at all carving around the corner with so much junk in the road. He never backed off or stopped charging – he just railed it. The second was he did it on a bike I designed and built for him. Prior to racing Serottas he raced on ‘crit’ bikes with silly steep angles with short front-centers. While racing in Europe Davis realized that a solid stage race bike was the bike of choice for both long and short events and we built him stage race bikes from then on. I can’t tell you how cool it was to see my work put to that cornering test. It was rewarding to know that he trusted the bike so much. I’ll never forget that.

    This is from the Smoked Out section of the Velocipede Salon website.

  15. Woops. Meant to use this picture for the Alexi jab, not the one I posted.

  16. frank :
    Woops. Meant to use this picture for the Alexi jab, not the one I posted.

    Hey, did he accidentally put someone else’s teeth in by mistake?

  17. Swag.

  18. The Toad head is made up by the amount of The V he is putting out in that picture.

  19. Jklash :
    Not to be a pedant, but the bike was actually a John Slawta built Land Shark and not a Serotta.

    Whaddya mean? Of course that’s pedantry. Brilliant pedantry. The sort of pedantry that is most welcome around here. We rely on it (i) to add to our store of cycling knowledge and (ii) to counteract Frank’s inability to distinguish (or even care that it is polite to distinguish) between fantasy and reality. Marvellous effort.

  20. il ciclista medio :

    frank :Woops. Meant to use this picture for the Alexi jab, not the one I posted.

    Hey, did he accidentally put someone else’s teeth in by mistake?

    Phil Anderson’s?

  21. @sgt
    Tou-fucking-che
    :-)

  22. Great stuff, Frank! I was about to point out the Serotta/Slawta thing but I see it’s all taken care of already, and I understand a lot more about your writing methods now thanks – I don’t feel so inclined to pull you up on every little detail now I know you’re just riffing off the top of your head most of the time. Top article, thanks.

  23. @Marcus
    now that you mention it….

  24. A fine introduction to a well conceived new series. I fully endorse the method, which brings to mind Krabbe’s Anquetil water bottle anecdote and its encounter with “reality.”. The relevant point being that reality cannot hold the wheel of a confident assertion.

  25. @Nate
    A venerable professional gave me two very good pieces of advice early in my working life:
    1. Son, you may be wrong, but never let yourself be in doubt.
    2. Eh young fella, we have dogs, let them bark (when he saw me sending a fax myself – remember them?).

  26. @Marko

    looks like that some take things personal. no need to, live is too short and wonderful to get upset.

    best S.

  27. sgt:
    @Stefan
    Yep, no sense rehashing topics that have already been covered, especially in art.
    Manet (1863)

    Monet (1865)

    Cezanne (1906)

    Picasso (1907)

    Yep, no sense in that…

    sgt, Manet and Monet are not my favorites, no doubt that they are great painters. from Cezanne or Picasso until today things get interesting. many deep, incredible work, not comparable with the plain “art of pedal pushing”. I love cycling, cycling had and has great exiting moments, nothing to with “great work of art”.

    my feelings, no need to share them.

    best S.

  28. Yeah great post, its always nice to see this story told over and over so thanks. I do think that over time Breukink’s great ride to win the stage has slipped well into the background but Andy’s did define the Giro overall.

    @frank
    What a great piece of kit that 7400 series Dura Ace was, I’ve always wanted that ever since I first saw it.

    @Jklash +1 !

    BTW whatever happened to those cool Avocet computers? They made some good tires too in the day.

  29. someone’s going to have to teach me how to do the mentions properly

  30. @Marko
    Haaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahaaaa!

    Can someone with the know how attach a clip of where Harden the fuck up Stefan comes from please? Absolutely hysterical Australian comedian. Particularly obtuse reference on an international cycling website, but complete gold.

    Nice one mate.

  31. @Hawkeye

  32. !!!!! Wicked, cheers Bretto.

    Every painting is a composition of individual brush strokes: The colour, position and orientation of each brush stroke are the result of conscious decisions made on the part of the artist: The result is the work of art.

    Each pedal stroke made by a skilled practitioner is the result of every piece of knowledge and ability they have. The series of decisions they make turn what they do into something else. It’s called sublimation. There’s nothing wrong with admiring the work of people who are good at what they do irrespective of the medium, and that’s part of what makes this website great. Adrian.

  33. The best cycling is poetry, and poetry is art isn’t it?

  34. @Alex

    BTW whatever happened to those cool Avocet computers? They made some good tires too in the day.

    Aaaah…the Avocets! I got an Avocet 30 for xmas one year…It stands out as the best xmas present I got during my childhood. I carried the box around for a few weeks before installing it on my 70’s Weissman-equipped Raleigh.

    http://www.avocet.com/instrpdfs/30_31eng.pdf

  35. @Marcus
    I received the same advice, thus: Do it wrong, but do it strong. It’s served me well.

  36. Then there was the 1985 Paris-Roubaix when 7/8 of the field DNF’d and riders were unrecognizably covered in filth at the finish. First win for Marc Madiot & LeMond came second – only his lips are recognizably flesh…

    Inimitably narrated by Phil Liggett in one of his first CBS broadcasts with John Tesh’s (shockingly fitting) music. Video Here

  37. 1980 Liege-Bastogne-Liege?

  38. Epic ride and I hate to rain on the parade but, I think I heard Bob Roll once say that Andy did not split the Giro Winning money with his team that year. Can anyone confirm? I never looked at Andy the same, after hearing that info. Back in those days domestiques didn’t make much of anything unless the team won a Tour.

  39. Telebyte :
    Then there was the 1985 Paris-Roubaix when 7/8 of the field DNF’d and riders were unrecognizably covered in filth at the finish. First win for Marc Madiot & LeMond came second – only his lips are recognizably flesh…
    Inimitably narrated by Phil Liggett in one of his first CBS broadcasts with John Tesh’s (shockingly fitting) music. Video Here

    I do not think that Lemond was 2nd that year, pretty sure he was 4th. Big George is the only American to podium at P-R, unless I am mistaken. But I agree, that year was EPIC! I believe that Jeff in Petro-Metro’s avatar is Lemond from that year’s P-R.

  40. @mauibike
    Wow! I have never heard that, but that does not mean it isn’t true. Very hard to believe from all I have heard about Hampsten, though. There’s another classic (and classy) story about Hampsten after that Giro win: He was getting on an airplane trip back to the US after winning the Giro and he sat down on the plane next to some older American woman. She asks him what he had been doing in Italy and Hampsten supposedly told her that he had just been biking around the country and left it at that. He never even mentioned that he had been in the Giro, say nothing about winning it. Class act.

  41. @Buck Rogers

    @Telebyte
    Yeah, BR, I’m pretty sure you’re right.

    1 Marc Madiot (FRA)
    2 Bruno Wojtinek (FRA)
    3 Sean Kelly (IRE)
    4 Greg LeMond (USA)
    (thanks to Wikipedia)

    Funnily enough there’s someone on eBay selling the Paris-Roubaix 85 – 89 on DVD which I picked up a copy of. They’re obvioulsy from old VHS tapes that have been copied from the original CBS sports broadcasts someone has had at home. Complete with some old ad’s that have been missed through editing. Quality is a bit dodgy in parts but overall pretty good.

    Great epic race, don’t know about Tesh’s music though? 80’s synth rock I’d call it. Aunty Phil’s dyed jet black hair is a scream.

  42. ok, so, not to self promote, but if anyone would like, I recorded a podcast with Andy a while back, and we talked a bit about this ride. You can find it at packfiller.com, in the ‘previous posts’ section.

    If this seems like self promotion bs, don’t hesitate to tell me to STFU.

    A great guy, and pretty damn humble for a guy with his palmares.

    [Update from Frank: Podcast can be found here.]

  43. “But I was in a period of my life when I didn’t like crashing due to mystery bike failures, so I went with the sure ride I knew Land Shark would build for me.”

    I am at that period in my life as well. I wonder, does one ever move beyond this period and transcend to a different state?

  44. Question of the day:  Choose one ride for ultimate epicness, and why.  1) Stelvio 2) Mortirolo 3) Gavia.  Discuss…

  45. @Forza Ciclismo Rather you mean “Discuss amongst ya’selves!” — Linda Richman.

  46. @sgt

    @Stefan

    Yep, no sense rehashing topics that have already been covered, especially in art.

    Manet (1863)

    Bow Wow Wow (1981)

    Man am I bored.

  47. @Forza Ciclismo

    Question of the day: Choose one ride for ultimate epicness, and why. 1) Stelvio 2) Mortirolo 3) Gavia. Discuss…

    Gavia. Hampsten and Bruekink and Delgado. Oakley and Vaseline.

    Jersey and shorts only.

  48. Imagine chasing after only two distinctive sets of tyre tracks in the snow. (photo above)
  49. @unversio

    Imagine chasing after only two distinctive sets of tyre tracks in the snow. (photo above)

    Imagine doing it on this bike!

    http://bikehugger.com/post/view/the-ugliest-eddy-merckx-ever

  50. What would Andy do today?

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