Hero of the Passo di Gavia 1988

It is unsurprising that Saturday’s Giro stage over the Gavia has rekindled memories of the epic stage to Bormio twenty years ago. Facts are hard to come by but for me one thing is clear, the hero of the day was Johan Van der Velde. Is it possible to be a hero and a lunatic at the same time? I think so, why else did Johan attack the climb in a blizzard wearing a short sleeve jersey, no hat or gloves nor even track mitts. For the record Van der Velde was first to the summit at 2652 metres. Eric Breukink caught Hampsten on the descent and took the stage win at Bormio. Hampsten took the pink jersey and held it to the end thereby creating the myth that he is the hero of the Gavia 88.


  1. DeJaap said

    Yeah, it’s a shame that Van der Velde had to stop during the descent in order to put on some warm clothes, otherwise he would probably also have won the stage.

  2. You learn something everyday — thanks green jersey for that bit of information.

  3. hell no said

    Van der Velde got in the car — mind you

    Never heard that before. Did he just sit in the car to warm up, which I think is OK, or did he drive part of the course which is out of order.

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