Passing into cycling legend

The snowstruck fourteenth stage of the 1988 Giro is etched into cycling folklore. In horrendous conditions, Andy Hampsten attacked over the Passo di Gavia and rode into the maglia rosa of race leader. To mark the 30th anniversary of Andy’s famous ride and subsequent Giro victory, Rapha presents a special collection of garments inspired by those that kept him from freezing. The Gavia collection celebrates not only an iconic ride but also the preparations and equipment choices that allowed Andy to perform as he did.


Inspired by the jacket worn underneath his jersey by Andy Hampsten on his famous ride over the Gavia, this limited edition version of the Pro Team Race Cape keeps the worst of the weather out.

Gavia Race Cape


Hampsten’s attack on the Gavia famously moved him into the leader’s maglia rosa. This limited edition jersey is modelled on the one he wore on the stage itself – the blue of the combination classification leader.



Despite horrific conditions on the stage, Hampsten wore only shorts. Based on our Classic Bib Shorts II, these shorts will see you through a range of riding conditions, though we wouldn’t recommend riding through a blizzard.



The morning after the Gavia stage, the Gazzetta dello Sport heralded Hampsten’s brave attack. This special version of our lightweight and breathable Pro Team Base Layer is printed with the pages of that very edition.


Gavia Accessories<

Gavia Neoprene Gloves

A native of North Dakota, Hampsten was no stranger to riding in the cold and knew the importance of equipment choice. The neoprene gloves he wore on the Gavia stage formed an important part of his armoury against the cold.

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Gavia Winter Hat

Andy’s mop of blonde hair resembled a snowball before he finally pulled on a winter hat for the freezing descent into Bormio.

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Gavia Socks

Sock length is a hot topic in the modern peloton with a trend towards increasing length. Andy is emphatic in his view that the cuff of a rider’s socks should be just above the ankle.

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“I knew everyone was terrified… I was scared… So I attacked.”

Andy Hampsten

The Day the Big Men Cried

The forecast is for snow. Amid rumours of the next day’s stage being cancelled, 7-Eleven riders fan out across start town of Chiesa in search of ski jackets, neoprene gloves and balaclavas – if the forecasters are right, they’re going to need all the clothing they can find.

The next morning, the wintry weather has set in and, despite the protestations of some riders, the stage gets underway. After surviving the first climb over the Passo Tonale, the race properly begins as the peloton hits the lower slopes of day’s final climb, the Passo di Gavia. The sheets of sleet and rain in the valley below have become a blizzard on the upper slopes. The sinuous road, bordered by towering banks of snow, is disappearing fast under a thick and freezing carpet. White out.

But through it all, a flash of colour. Goggle-like, yellow-tinted sunglasses, a bright red jacket underneath the blue jersey of the leader of the combination classification. With snow settling on his head and shoulders, Andy Hampsten cuts a lonely figure as he appears out of the fog, looking more like an Arctic explorer than a bike rider.

As most of his rivals seize up with cold behind, he forges on through the storm on the stage that came to be known as the day the big men cried. With the wind howling like the wolves which, according to local legend, prowl the Gavia’s upper reaches, the American holds his advantage on the descent to Bormio, taking valuable seconds on the rest of the pack.

Andy Hampsten’s superb ride through horrendous winter conditions over the Passo di Gavia may not have brought him the stage win but was the foundation of his overall win at the 1988 Giro d’Italia. Still the sole American victor, Hampsten’s exploits in the most brutal of conditions over one of Italy’s most celebrated climbs are etched into cycling folklore.

It was an iconic day in cycling. It was a day captured with some of the most recognisable photography in the sport. It was the day the big men cried.