During video outages, the race commentators showed clips of the 1988 race over the Gavia. On that memorable occasion, the riders crossed the pass in a snowstorm. Erik Breukink took the stage and Andy Hampsten rose to overall leader, having the lowest cumulative time for all stages to that point. At the end of the three-week race, Erik would end up in second place and Andy in first — the only American (or any non-European) ever to win the Giro. Andy currently divides his time between homes in Tuscany and Colorado. He leads bike tours in Tuscany and sells Hampsten-branded bikes in the US. He reports that life is good. Erik is currently manager of the Rabobank racing team and is pleased with the team's performance in major tours, though wins have been scarce.
Back in 2007, I did a blog post on Erik and Andy on the Gavia: snow, gentle and ferocious.
This photo shows Erik on that occasion:
And this one shows Andy:
Here's what the pass looked like this year:
This year's race profile map gives an idea of the stage's climbs and descents.
This photo of part of the Gavia gives an idea what the riders face in both climbing and descending the mountain.
Here are links to two Youtube videos from this year:
Giro 2010 Stage 20 Passo di Gavia (pt.1) on Youtube
Giro 2010 Stage 20 Passo di Gavia (pt.2) on Youtube
And here's one from 1988:
Giro d'Italia 1988, Passo di Gavia on Youtube
Update: Gavia Pass for Saturday on the ItalianCyclingJournal blog
Giro’10 St. 20 on Pez Cycling News
Andy’s Epic Day On The Gavia on Pez Cycling News
Gavia Pass on wikipedia