Six Days Of The Worlds – Evanescent Riders of the 90s: Oscar Camenzind

Camenzind’s rider photo for evanescent team Phonak

The Swiss surely are making a name for themselves in the Worlds, especially these days with Spartacus taking his fourth TT title. Of course we’re all waiting for the marquee event of the men’s road race but I’m sure Switzerland is proud to house the TT gold medal as well. The small, beautiful, and neutral country is at the top of the list of the countries who’ve taken home the most medals from the world road race championships. That is if you remove the national juggernauts of Belgium, Italy, France, Spain and The Netherlands. So with that said, let’s just put Switzerland at the top of the “also ran” countries list. Well okay, so they’re tied with the Germans but Emil Kijewski rode under the Nazi flag so maybe we shouldn’t really count that one as the Nazis were douchebags and deserve no recognition.

One of the Swiss riders to contribute to their humble pile of medals and national pride was Oscar Camenzind. Oscar took the gold home from Valkenburg in 1998 after a successful solo break from a few kilometers out. Armstrong and Bartoli were in the chase as was Michael Boogerd who suffered a podium-bid ending puncture.


A week or so later, Oscar won Lombardy in good form. Later in his career, Camenzind went on to replicate his Worlds¬†success during the Tour de Suisse in 2000 and L-B-L in 2001, riding in both races for Lampre-Daikin. Perhaps his doping program was perfected then and allowed him to win undetected. But everything unraveled for Oscar in 2004 during his stint with Swiss team and dope squad, Phonak. Momma always said; “if you hang around snakes, sooner or later you’re gonna get bit.” With the likes of Tyler slithering around the peloton on his team Oscar got bitten in 2004. Seems the snakes in the peloton inject their own form of venom known as EPO.

We have to hand it to Oscar though. He actually admitted his guilt saying; “I made the stupidest of mistakes.” Yes you did Oscar. But what would have been stupider is wasting everyone’s time denying your guilt.

Oscar’s career as a racer was over. Unlike other cyclists who’ve admitted to their affairs with the needle and have gone on to success as “clean” riders, Oscar’s career never rebounded. C’est la Vie old boy.

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18 Replies to “Six Days Of The Worlds – Evanescent Riders of the 90s: Oscar Camenzind”

  1. Because it really needs to be said: Spartacus is a beast! I know the big show is on Saturday, but he decimated the field in the TT today.

  2. @Steampunk
    I am stoked for Millar, if getting second to Spartacus felt like winning to Boonen, Imagine what it felt like to Millar!

    Also, you heard it here first, folks: Dutchland is a juggernaut:

    That is if you remove the national juggernauts of Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, and The Netherlands.

  3. @frank
    Well, at 17, Dutchland only has four more than Switzerland and two fewer than Spain. The true juggernauts are Italy, Belge, and France but I had give the nod somehow. I suppose though there is no podium spot for fourth.

  4. @frank
    Absolutely! This from Millar:

    “Congratulations to Fabian first. There is no doubt he is a phenomenon. But I came here hoping to get on the podium and that’s what I did, so it is a lovely feeling to be actually achieve the objective I was aiming for.

    “I felt good. I felt great on the first lap. My tactic was the opposite of Fabian’s, it was to attack the first lap and then hang on for dear life. And that’s basically what I did. I felt great and even at the first lap with the three climbs, by the end of the last climb I was coming up that the first time and I thought, ‘Oh god this is going to hurt the next time round’, and it did. It was very hard and I think we can safely say that in the road race that is going to be a hard climb. We suffered enormously just going up it twice. It is a hard course.

    “I went a bit slow through a couple of corners, especially on the descent, but I am very happy with my ride. My power was good, everything was good. Unfortunately, I just need to be going faster and stronger to beat Fabian. And corner faster. But I am pleased with my ride and there is nothing I would change about it.”

    Classy stuff.

  5. When you look at the List, his name, Rudy Dhaenens and I. Astarloa stand out as guys that maybe didn’t belong with the others. I had forgotten he won L-B-L, maybe it was all the dope, who knows. I did by a red Swiss national jersey because of him, not because of him actually, it just looked cool. As it did when Faboooooo wore it this year. I dare Fabs to win the road race.

  6. @john
    This is why I’m tempted to buy a Norwegian national jersey. A) because it’s awesome, B) because nobody where’s it better than Thor (which is also a reason not to buy one, and C) because I’m Norwegian.

  7. Looks like he’s sporting some V-nozzles, too.

    Marko, I thought you were a dumb, stoic Swede? But instead, you’re a brilliant, emphatic Nor?

    His salute, or should I say – outburst – at the Tour on the Stage 3 was unquestionably the coolest of the Tour.

  8. Not that Camezind made just the one “mistake”. The year he won LBL was a really, really boring race. I seem to remember the other favourites let him ride off in the end.

    At the worlds he attacked Bartoli, Armstong and our chisel-jawed-hero Peter van Petergem on the Cauberg with Armstrong the one to miss the posium, as he did at the TT.

  9. @Jarvis
    PvP, one of my favorites ever! Did he wear eye-liner, or are his eyes normally like that?

    What a stud. The way he rode across to the lead group in his World Cup leaders jersey in P-R was just awesome.


    I’m multi-cultural. Swedish and Norwegian! Now that’s diversity man.

    Right. When the Norwegians invaded Sweden, the did so much fuckin’ that the lines got really blurred there for a bit.

  10. @Marko

    Being of Swedish ancestry I thought I would pass some poor Swedish humor along for your Norwegian half.

    Q: How do you say “genius” in Norway?
    A: Tourist.

    Q: How do you sink a Norwegian submarine?
    A: Scuba-dive down and knock on the door.
    Q: How do you sink a Norwegian submarine again?
    A: Dive down and knock on the door again. Wait for them to open the window and say, “You aren’t fooling us this time!”
    Q: How do you sink a Swedish submarine?
    A: Give it a Norwegian crew.

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