The Story

In 1997, following his retirement from professional cycling, and finding himself at a loose end after restoring a stone farmhouse from ruins to gentleman farmer’s manor, Andy Hampsten decided that next to tending his olives and grapes and raising his daughter Emma, there was nothing he’d rather do than share the best riding, food and wine in the world with fun people. And so he founded Cinghiale Cycling Tours, hoping to lure cyclists from all over the United States and the world to come over and play in his favorite sandbox. It worked. Ten years and many satisfying tours later , and despite a tricky-looking name,  Cinghiale Tours has a following of loyal addicts who can’t get enough of Tuscany, and who appreciate the intimate experience of the country offered by Andy and his crew. We conduct our tours from the heart. So don’t be intimidated! Andy has had his fill of racing and riding fast. Now he rides for his own pleasure and fitness, and to meet great people. He rides every mile of every tour and then some, constantly checking to make sure everyone is having the time of their lives.

Company Bios

We are lucky to have a talented, conscientious, experienced, knowledgeable, and entirely loveable crew. Meet the gang:

Andy Hampsten Andy’s resume as a pro cyclist is long and impressive. Best of all are the engrossing stories he tells about his time in the peloton. You’ll get to hear many of these, and ask him questions in person, on your trip. Meanwhile, visit our Andy page (coming soon) for pictures and articles from Andy’s career. Career Highlight: Andy Hampsten is the only American cyclist ever to win the Giro d’Italia. The epic ride through the snow on the Gavia Pass that won him the race in 1988 embodied the spirit of cycling for many Italians, who adopted him as “il nostro Andy” , “our Andy”. Andy still owns a home in Tuscany but spends most of the year in his home in Boulder, where nothing could be better than reading TinTin books and riding tandem with his daughter Emma, though usually not at the same time.

Elaine Lauterbach-Hampsten- After many years of studying biology and physiology, Elaine enjoys seeing the body in motion. A cycling rookie 6 years ago (she thought the Giro d’Italia was a sandwich) when she met Andy, Elaine has taken on the roads of Italy, learning the language and cycling history along the way. She now enjoys guiding  tours alongside Andy as well as running the Cinghiale, Inc-biz.

Gerardo Carpentieri Where would we be without our warm, friendly and professional bike shop just down the street from our hotel in nearby Donoratico? More to the point, what would we do without Gerardo, who will expertly fit you for a stunning rental bike, get your bike in running order after a long flight, fix a flat, and most importantly, tell you dirty jokes in Italian if you hop in the van after one hill too many. Known locally as “il Barone”, “ the Baron”. Gerardo is our favorite uncle, bike mechanic, driver, and entertainer. He takes care of us and makes sure we have as much fun as he’s having. www.ciclosport.it

Rob Coppolillo (In his own words) ¨The progeny of Calabrian olive farmers and Italian war heroes, Rob Coppolillo comes to guiding bike tours after an undistinguished nine-year cycling career and hectic early life of bottle rocket wars and afternoon soccer matches. The little money he makes comes from freelance writing projects, which include copywriting, late-night poetry slams and magazine features. He won an “Excellence in Journalism” award in 1997 from the Society of Professional Journalists for a bio he penned on the career and post-cycling life of Mr. Shiras Andrew Hampsten. He is an avid rock climber, passionate amateur percussionist and aspiring auto mechanic. Underemployed, balding and living part-time in a 1984 VW camper van, Rob may not be the world’s most eligible bachelor, but he does manage to smile a great deal of the time.

John Weissenrieder John is the only person we know who could beat anyone up the nearest hill on his thriftstore brown Fuji  with, in case you were wondering, 650A wheels, one chainring and a wooden shift lever  while wearing hiking shorts and sandals, and look good doing it. A tireless rider and considerate guide, John has been with Cinghiale since our first full season in 1998, when he moved to Florence to apprentice in guitar making under a Florentine master luthier. Before that, John raced mountain bikes, contesting the World Cup, NORBA National series, and the World championships as one of the USA’s top professional mountain bikers from 1986-1996. His friendship with Andy goes back to early racing days in Boulder where they shared a house. Now a master luthier himself, John still lives in Florence with his sweetheart Anna and her two kids, and builds classic guitars in his atelier. www.jwlutherie.com

Enrico Caracciolo Born in Rome, Enrico lives in Castagneto Carducci and travels all over the world as a free-lance photographer, journalist and travel writer. An accomplished cyclist, he graces us with his presence on the bike on most of our tours, he’s the guy riding with one hand and taking your picture with a huge camera in the other,  and supplies us with some of our best photos for the website. When not accompanying Cinghiale, Enrico works mainly as geographical and travel reporter, specializing in cycle touring. His work is published in numerous travel and weekly magazines, books and travel guides. In recent years he has explored and traveled extensively through many parts of the world including Alaska, Australia, Africa, South America, New Zealand and all over Europe. Check him out: http://www.enricocaracciolo.com/

Chicca Maione Our cooking classes are taught by Chicca Maione. A native of Naples were she earned her degree in architecture; Chicca now works in Castagneto Carudcci as a “green” architect. A passionate cycle tourist, she has traveled through many parts of the world, such as, Alaska, Australia, Ecuador, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and all over Italy and Europe.  After the birth of her daughter, Elsa, she moved to Tuscany, where she restored her Tuscan farmhouse.  In her kitchen she started to share authentic recipes with her guests and founded Cooking in Tuscany, a culinary-gastronomic association that spreads the traditional-Italian and the typical-Tuscan cuisine in Italy and abroad. The aim of the association is to experiment and research old traditional recipes, to use and emphasize seasonal products, and to promote the culture and the tradition of a place through the knowledge of its local products. And, of course, to share the sense of hospitality of the Italian family—something Cinghiale is fortunate to experience on our tours in Tuscany.  Whether conversing about art, travel, cooking, architecture, or la vita, Chicca has the warm Italian spirit in spades and any time spent with her is an enriching experience. Chicca will guide our cooks (and cyclists) on our Tuscan tours through a range of simple but hearty and authentic Tuscan recipes, cooked from the heart with expert skill, and using the freshest local ingredients.

Scot Nicol Legendary Ibis Cycles founder and budding wine expert Scot Nicol joined us for the first time in 2004. Since then he has added his prodigious cycling strength, oenological expertise, and implacable good humor to Cinghiale trips on Corsica, in Tuscany, and in his own backyard of Sonoma County, where he knows the roads like the wine-stains on his favorite shirt. In addition to blessing us with his god-like bike industry status and educated taste-buds, Scot enriches our Sonoma trips with his knowledge of the flora and fauna of Sonoma and the adjacent coastal region. www.ibiscycles.com

Arnaud Bachelard “A copywriter and a rider, could that be a copyrider?” quips our resident French guy.  (As he further mysteriously remarks, “We always need a French guy on the team. Even if we don’t know why”). Arnaud joined us in 2005 for our first French adventure on the island of Corsica, and distinguished himself as an enthusiastic cyclist with an abundance of people skills. Let’s just say he’s not exactly shy! Splitting his time between Chamonix Mt. Blanc and Lyon, Arnaud is a copywriter by profession, as well as a passionate amateur photographer who generously contributes some fine shots to our website. In addition to his riding exploits in Tuscany, Calabria, and the Amalfi Coast, Arnaud has explored by bike in Wales, Ireland, Senegal, Morocco and Jordan. Monsieur Bachelard believes he holds the distinction of being the first non-American to register at the Moab Fat Tire Festival back in 1989. He often rides in Utah, and in California with buddy Scot Nicol. “Allez, roulez!”

Steve Hampsten Ostensibly Andy’s older brother, Steve Hampsten is best known for his bicycle design company, Hampsten Cycles. Founded in 1999 by Steve and Andy, Hampsten Cycles is the place to go when you’re in need of a professional fitting and a friendly bike-buying experience. Specializing in great-fitting and smooth-handling road bikes – using tires of all sizes – Hampsten Cycles offers fine custom frames in steel, titanium, and aluminum.  A cycling enthusiast since his North Dakota days when he and “little Andy” discovered 25-mile rides as a way to dodge pulling weeds in the family garden, Steve likes nothing better than to talk about all things bicycle-related, unless it’s skipping work to go for a ride, followed by a heavy snack.