The Other Hampsten

Bill Caraher

Like most Americans, I’m up early this morning to watch stage Stage 12 of the Tour de France which ascends the famous Alpe d’Huez while keeping an eye on the USA-Zimbabwe cricket match in the Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier.

Americans have a particular interest in Alpe d’Huez this year because 30 years ago, “the Other American”, Andy Hampsten, won this stage and is the only American to have ever won this iconic climb in the Tour de France. Hampsten is particularly special to me because because he grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota where I now live. In fact, last weekend, I rode some of the very same hills that I imagined Hampsten training on.

IMG 7830

This post, however, is not about Andy Hampsten, but his mother, Elizabeth Hampsten, who taught for many years at the University of North Dakota. In addition to a prestigious career as a scholar and translator, she served for over twenty years on the editorial board of North Dakota Quarterly. As far as I know, she only ever published one article in the Quarterly, “A Reading of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Arthur” which appeared in NDQ 35.2 (1967). Some 30 years late, she worked with Stephen Dilks to create the first North Dakota Quarterly reader, which you can explore here. A decade after this, some 40 years after her first publication in the Quarterly’s pages, Prof. Hampsten continued  of service on the journal’s advisory board.


Bill Caraher is casual cyclist, moderate engage cricket fan, and editor of North Dakota Quarterly.

2 Replies to “The Other Hampsten”

  1. spearman3004 says:

    Andy’s family were neighbors of my family. When asked how he could where there were no hills he said, “I trained against the wind. No mention of hills.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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