Nuts weather in May: Rapha's Gavia '88 collection references a stinker
Think this has been a rubbish spring? You'd be right, but it is nowhere near as bad as the top of the Passo di Gavia one day in early May 30 years ago.
Stage 14 of the 1988 Giro was basically a whiteout, with driving blizzards on the Gavia which left the ill-prepared peloton in tatters. It proved a gift for those who had bothered to look at the weather forecast.
Andy Hampsten was one of them. Already nudging pink before he went into the stage, his team's initiative to go out and get a ski jacket and neoprene gloves proved the marginal gain he needed to make impossible conditions simply unbearable. He ended that stage a legend wearing a pink jersey and went on to become the only American ever to win the Giro d'Italia.
Rapha has commemorated the 30th anniversary of this feat with the Gavia ‘88 Collection, a capsule of Andy Hampsten-inspired stuff that would make any ascent of a mountain in blizzard conditions infinitely more doable. As well as the standard limited edition jersey there is a race cape, neoprene gloves, winter cap, socks, bib shorts and baselayer. Each piece has clever nods to the kit Andy wore on the stage, from Gazetta prints on the baselayer to Team Seven-Eleven inspired graphics.
The Gavia ‘88 Collection is almost as limited as the Maglia Rosa itself, with a production run in double digits a lot of the time, and it's released, like, 10 minutes ago, so the race is on to grab some.
Find the Rapha Gavia ‘88 Collection here.
(Note: The author of this article still works for Rapha).