Epic Cartography

In the 1988 Giro d’Italia Andy Hampsten mounted a daring attack on the Gavia Pass’s sleet and snow slicked slopes, a gamble that paid off as he became the first (and only to date) non-European cyclist to win Italy’s grand tour. Perhaps overshadowed by the accomplishments of his countryman Greg Lemond, Andy had been enjoying a successful career in Europe since 1985 when he won a stage in the 1985 Giro and the white jersey (best young rider) in the 1986 Tour de France. Another memorable highlight was his victory atop the Alpe d’Huez in 1992, which was another first for a non-European cyclist (although many will argue that Greg Lemond would have earned that honor in 1986 had he not “gifted” the stage to Bernard Hinault in an ill-fated power sharing plan).

I was delighted that Andy would entrust me with his copy of the 1988 Giro d’Italia guide book for a few days so I could take a few pictures and fantasize a bit about what it was like to race in Europe in those days. While its cover is perhaps an unfortunate bellweather of late 80s graphic design, the inside reveals the amazing cartography of italian artist Cesare Sangalli.

Posted by on December 30, 2008