Skip to main content

Worlds 1998 Gallery: Armstrong battles Camenzind, and the emergence of Cancellara

Image 1 of 16

U23 men's TT podium: Hushovd takes gold, Finot (France) silver and Ortenzi (bronze). The Italian rode for Mercatone Uno for four years but couldn't find a team after 2002. Finot became a solid domestique for a number of French teams.

U23 men's TT podium: Hushovd takes gold, Finot (France) silver and Ortenzi (bronze). The Italian rode for Mercatone Uno for four years but couldn't find a team after 2002. Finot became a solid domestique for a number of French teams.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 2 of 16

Lance Armstrong on the attack in 1998

Lance Armstrong on the attack in 1998
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 16

Oscar Camenzind took the biggest win of his career in Valkenburg. Organisers invited him back this year but he declined

Oscar Camenzind took the biggest win of his career in Valkenburg. Organisers invited him back this year but he declined
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 4 of 16

Armstrong may have missed out on a medal but he was one of the strongest riders in the race.

Armstrong may have missed out on a medal but he was one of the strongest riders in the race.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 5 of 16

Alexandre Vinokourov rode his first senior worlds in 1998

Alexandre Vinokourov rode his first senior worlds in 1998
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 6 of 16

Lance Armstrong was lying third at the penultimate time check in the time trial but Gontchar beat him to bronze

Lance Armstrong was lying third at the penultimate time check in the time trial but Gontchar beat him to bronze
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 7 of 16

The worlds podium: Van Petegem and Bartoli flank Camenzind

The worlds podium: Van Petegem and Bartoli flank Camenzind
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 8 of 16

Fabian Cancellara won a close-fought junior time trial but finished 20th in the road race

Fabian Cancellara won a close-fought junior time trial but finished 20th in the road race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 9 of 16

Jonathan Vaughters (USA) climbs the Bemelerberg in 1998

Jonathan Vaughters (USA) climbs the Bemelerberg in 1998
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 10 of 16

Lance Armstrong (USA) was one of the strongest riders in the 1998 worlds, seen here stretching Markus Zberg in an early break

Lance Armstrong (USA) was one of the strongest riders in the 1998 worlds, seen here stretching Markus Zberg in an early break
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 11 of 16

The 1998 worlds women's race

The 1998 worlds women's race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 12 of 16

Oscar Camenzind attacked on the final ascent of the Bemelerberg

Oscar Camenzind attacked on the final ascent of the Bemelerberg
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 13 of 16

Oscar Camenzind attacked on the last lap and a moment of hesitation was all he needed to create a winning gap

Oscar Camenzind attacked on the last lap and a moment of hesitation was all he needed to create a winning gap
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 14 of 16

A 17-year-old Fabian Cancellara took gold in the junior time trial. He beat the likes of Pozzato, Creed, Wiggins, Eisel, Plaza, and Kiryienka

A 17-year-old Fabian Cancellara took gold in the junior time trial. He beat the likes of Pozzato, Creed, Wiggins, Eisel, Plaza, and Kiryienka
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 15 of 16

Oscar Camenzind won the Worlds and Lombardia a week later. His career came to an end when he tested positive for EPO years later.

Oscar Camenzind won the Worlds and Lombardia a week later. His career came to an end when he tested positive for EPO years later.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 16 of 16

A skinny Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) riding towards 16th in the junior time trial

A skinny Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) riding towards 16th in the junior time trial
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

This year’s World Championships in Valkenburg are not the first time the UCI’s flagship event has been hosted in the southern Limburg region of the Netherlands. The area has played host on four previous occasions, with 1938 the first occurrence and others in1948, 1979 and 1998.

The last visit came just months after the Festina affair had rocked the sporting world, with the Tour de France brought to its knees.

It meant that the atmosphere in Limburg was a mixture of disillusionment and hope: Hope that the racing would briefly lift the gloom and that doping in cycling would be tackled head on. However within a matter of days the situation worsened when the then UCI vice-president Daniel Baal, left the event, angry how the sport had handled the drugs problem it faced, and because the UCI had cut a month off a number of doping suspensions to facilitate quick returns for Alex Zulle, Laurent Dufaux and Armin Meier.

The mood lifted momentarily when Oscar Camenzind took the rainbow jersey with an aggressive performance.

The Swiss rider was part of an elite group that contained some of the most distinguished riders of the 1990s with Lance Armstrong, Michele Bartoli, Michael Boogerd, Peter van Petegem and Udo Bolts. In torrential weather Camenzind seized his moment on the early slopes of the Bemelerberg on the final lap. In a classic do-or-die move, the Mapei man attacked just as Armstrong completed a long turn on the front. Boogerd punctured, the rest of the break hesitated and Camenzind got away and held on for the win.

Only later would so many of the riders’ careers unravel: Camenzind tested positive for EPO, Bartoli was linked to Puerto and Armstrong received a life-time ban from USADA.

The 1998 worlds also saw the emergence of a number of new faces that would go on to create a new generation of riders. Fabian Cancellara won the junior men’s time trial; Bradley Wiggins was 16th; a chubby faced Thor Hushovd won the U23 time trial and Pippo Pozzato won a silver in the junior road race and a bronze in the time trial. Italy enjoyed a clean sweep in the U23 men's road race with Ivan Basso finished ahead of Rinaldo Nocentini – who is racing this year’s worlds – and Danilo Di Luca.

But for every Cancellara and Hushovd there were riders tipped for success who never made the grade. Mark Scanlon (Ireland) won the junior road race with a perfectly timed sprint and was tipped as the ‘next Sean Kelly’. However years of frustration followed and the Irishman was never able to replicate his junior dominance in the senior ranks.