|Ryder Hesjedal during the 2012 Giro d'Italia- Photo via Castelli|
In a few short days, The Giro d’Italia will commence for the 100th time.
This months Dave Campbell's Trivia Column celebrates the historic accomplishments
Of North American Riders in the Race for the Maglia Rosa (Pink Jersey)
Q1. Canadian Ryder Hesjedal re-wrote the history books with his historic Giro d’Italia victory last year. Prior to the Garmin-Sharp rider’s triumph, what was the highest ever finish for a Canadian in Italy’s grand tour?
Q2. The only American to win the Giro was Andrew Hampsten (7-Eleven/Hoonved) in 1988. Much has been written, including pieces by Bob Roll and Bicyclinghub.com’s own Doug Duguay, about his exploits on the Gavia. Despite putting over 5 minutes into all the main contenders except Erik Breukink (Panasonic), he did not win the stage, losing by 7 seconds to Breukink. Did Hampsten win any stages enroute to this historic achievement?
Q3. Other than Andy’s Pink jersey, have any other Giro leaders' jerseys been won by American riders?
A1. Steve Bauer, riding as team captain for Toshiba-Look (formerly La Vie Claire) was 10th in the 1987 Giro, 14:41 down on victor Stephen Roche (Carrera-Inoxpran) of Ireland.
A2. He did! The first was the 205 km 12th stage on June 3rd from Novara-Selvino. Hampsten broke away in the company of future Tour de France winner Pedro Delgado of Spain (Reynolds). The Colorado rider dropped him on the finish climb which rises 3000 feet about Bergamo to move within striking distance of the lead which he would take on Stage 14 over the Gavia. He also won the 18 kilometer Stage 18 Uphill Time Trial from Valico del Vitriolo.
A3. In 1988’s storming performance, Hampsten also took home the Combine Jersey and Mountains (then Blue, Green from the early 90s until recently returning to Blue) Jerseys. He was additionally 3rd in the Points Competition.