We've been looking closely at the latest cycling deals on eBay, and have come across this 1988 7-Eleven jersey, worn by Andy Hampsten at that year's Tour de France and signed by the man himself.
Hampsten had won the overall Giro d'Italia in the month prior to the Tour – the first American, and in fact non-European, Giro winner, and only the second American Grand Tour winner after La Vie Claire teammate Greg Lemond's 1986 Tour victory. Hampsten then went into the 1988 Tour as one of the favourites, but could 'only' finish 15th in a race won by Spain's Pedro Delgado
Hampsten joined US team 7-Eleven from La Vie Claire for the 1987 season, having already ridden for them on a special 30-day contract at the 1985 Giro. He spent eight seasons with the team as it morphed into Motorola in 1990, before moving on to Banesto for the 1995 season, and then ended his pro career following a year with the nascent US Postal team in 1996.
More, even, than his overall 1988 Giro victory, Hampsten is best remembered for his race-winning move on the climb of the Passo di Gavia in stage 14's freezing, blizzard-like conditions (see video below). Although he didn't take the stage – many forget that it was actually won by Panasonic's Erik Breukink – Hampsten distanced his rivals to take the pink leader's jersey, which he then held all the way to the finish, a week later, in Vittorio Veneto, beating Breukink by 1:43 and Switzerland's Urs Zimmermann by 2:45.
Hampsten then had a strong 7-Eleven team built around him for the 1988 Tour, which included US road race champion Ron Kiefel, young Mexican climber Raul Alcala, Norwegian star Dag Otto Lauritzen, with sprinter and two-time Tour stage winner Davis Phinney also on the squad.
This jersey, manufactured by Descente, and boasting the logos of main sponsor 7-Eleven and co-sponsor Hoonved – an Italian industrial dishwashing-machine company – was, according to the seller, signed by Hampsten when he was inducted into the US Cycling Hall of Fame, and gives details of its previous owner, which all sounds pretty legitimate to us.
Also pictured in the listing, although seemingly not for sale, are 7-Eleven's Canadian rider Steve Bauer's 1990 Tour yellow jersey – which he wore for eight stages that year having been part of a four-man breakaway on the opening road stage that finished with an advantage of 10:35 over the peloton – and two other 7-Eleven jerseys.
The one on the bottom right appears to be – thanks to a little digging on the Memoire-du-cyclisme.eu website – from the 1989 Tour de France, when the team enjoyed special co-sponsorship from American Airlines, while the jersey on the bottom left seems to be from the 1990 season.
The two signed garments – Hampsten's Tour jersey and Bauer's yellow jersey – are the pick of the bunch, though. Stump up US$425 (£340) for the former – and it will come unframed, the seller points out – and it's yours.
As this is a collector's item there is a good chance that the jersey will get snapped up quickly, in the event it sells have found these alternatives to satisfy your 7Eleven 80's kit craving.
The same seller as the jersey above has an unworn 1989 7-Eleven Cycling Team Issue Wool Jersey from Jeff Pierce. There is another 7-Eleven cycling team issued wool jersey that claims to have been worn by Bob "Bobke" Roll around the same time.
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