Cinghiale is Italian for wild boar, and in Italy the cinghiali roam freely, forging for the sweet delicacies the land has to offer….
In 1997, following his retirement from professional cycling, Andy Hampsten knew there was nothing he’d rather do than share his passion for the best riding, food and wine he discovered while racing in Italy. He founded Cinghiale Cycling Tours hoping to lure fun-loving cyclists and food enthusiasts from around the world to have a taste of the Italian experience. With two decades of living, cycling, and sharing meals in a quiet corner of Tuscany, Cinghiale Cycling Tours has a following of loyal addicts who can’t get enough of Italy, and who appreciate the intimate experience of the country offered by Andy and his crew. As a company we’ve explored some of the most exceptional and unknown areas of Italy, looking for unique and authentic experiences to share with our guests. As a family, Andy and his wife Elaine, are rooted in the local life, spending part of the year in Tuscany. The Cinghiale crew conducts our tours from the heart, and with great appreciation of the Italian culture.
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: his 12 seasons focused on the Tour de France 8 times and the Giro d’Italia 6 times. The race he is best known for is his win at the 1988 Giro d’Italia. The epic ride through the snow on the Gavia Pass that year won him the race and embodied the spirit of cycling for many Italians, who adopted him as “il nostro Andy” , “our Andy”. Andy has since soaked up the best of Italy and is happy to share his knowledge of the land and culture with others: he has an intimate understanding of olive oil and wine from tending his own trees and vines on his farm, and knows every road that leads to a cafe. It is with great passion that he leads each Cinghiale tour. Whether it’s talking of the local terrior or sharing engrossing stories of the peleton, he offers his guests a personal experience of Italy. When not on tour Andy enjoys working with his brother, Steve, and their bike company Hampsten Cycles or working on various projects between between Boulder, CO and Tuscany with his wife Elaine and their two children Emma and Oscar.
Elaine Lauterbach-Hampsten Raised in a soccer family, Elaine was slow to learn of the cycling world (what, the Giro d’Italia is not a sandwhich?!), but it didn’t take much convincing to join the Cinghiale-way. She’s been running Cinghiale Cinghiale tours alongside Andy for more than a decade and has taken whole-heartedly to cycling the roads and experiencing the culture of Italy and beyond by bike. She is our behind-the-scene director and manages your Cinghiale experience from beginning to end.
Gerardo Carpentieri Cinghiale Cycling tours is forever enhanced by the warm, friendly and talented, Gerardo Carpentieri, his wife Daniella, and their bike shop, Ciclosport. Honorary grandparents to Andy and Elaine’s kids, these two know it all- from bikes to pasta sauce- you are in good hands. Gerardo runs each tour with Andy and Elaine, gracefully drives the follow van, skillfully manages his rental bike fleet, and helps maintain each guest’s bicycle. He’s our resident miracle worker and we wouldn’t want to do Cinghiale tours without him.
Enrico Caracciolo An Italian native, Enrico lives in Castagneto Carducci and travels, mostly by bike, all over the world as a free-lance photographer, journalist and travel writer. He’s our resident Cinghiale and happily shares his discoveries of roads, foods, and people with us. Enrico is an accomplished cyclist and is continually proving to us that Italy is a bottomless pit of treasures. He’s responsible for much of our photo content, and can ride, shoot photos, and drink a cappuccino all at the same time! 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/
Kerry Helmuth Kerry joins us from Trento, Italy by way of Madison, Wisconsin. A former professional cyclist, Kerry settled first in Bormio, a town nestled in the shadow of the epic Stelvio and Gavia passes. She now lives in Trento with her family, teaching high school, working on her PhD, and raising her two boys. Kerry is a lead guide for us on our mountain tours and happily joins in the rolling hills of Tuscany from time to time. Like Andy, Kerry possesses a great passion for cycling and all things Italian (especially the food!). She happily rides at a leisurely pace and never misses an opportunity to share her knowledge of the land and the sport.
Chicca Maione A native of Naples were she earned her degree in architecture; Chicca now lives in Castagneto Carudcci and shares her love of food through her cooking school. We’ve been lucky to work with Chicca from the beginning of our tours, conceptualizing the dream combination of cooking and cycling in Tuscany. Chicca teaches our cooking classes from her home, and the experience is beyond delightful. A fellow cyclist, 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. Learn more from her website: http://cookingintuscany.cc
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
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. We are lucky to have Steve on the road with us in Italy every so often, especially to counter Andy’s stories! www.hampsten.com
Alia Favilli A local racer on the road and mountain bike, Alia is the newest to the crew. Off season Alia runs the cycling fit program at the local bike shop, Ciclosport. Between races and training he guides with us, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and practicing his english. Genuine and energetic, Alia bring his local knowledge to the group and enjoys chasing down our faster guests.
Arnaud Bachelard 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. Splitting his time between Chamonix Mont-Blanc and Castagneto Carducci, our French guy is a copywriter by profession, specialized in TV and Radio commercials. He’s a passionate amateur photographer, too, who contributes some fine shots to our website or to some events like l’Eroica. In addition to his trips to the Moab Fat Tire Festival (1989, 91, 93, 95 & 99), in Tuscany, Calabria, and the Amalfi Coast, Arnaud has explored by bike in Wales, Senegal, Morocco, Jordan and rode several times l’Eroica, because it’s fun! Arnaud likes to discover new roads or trails on its Hakkalugi, like the “After work loop” in Castagneto Carducci or the 1st edition of the Superenduro B-Road in La Morra (Barolo) he rode with buddy Scot Nicol. “Allez, roulez!” www.arnaudbachelard.com
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 California trips with his knowledge of the flora and fauna of Sonoma and the adjacent coastal region. www.ibiscycles.com
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 Andy Hampsten. Now a full time Alpine guide (he’s the guy you want to lead you through the back country), we’re lucky when Rob drops in for some Cinghiale fun. When he’s not in the great outdoors, Rob spends his time in Boulder with his lovely wife and identical twin boys. http://www.vettamountainguides.com/