Within the wake of Mads Pedersen’s marvel victory within the males’s global street championships final Sunday, we take a look at 5 different surprising winners of the rainbow jersey and hint the place their careers went after their triumphs.

He’s were given a dapper new rainbow jersey in his equipment drawer, but it surely’s no longer uncharitable to mention that Mads Pedersen‘s global championships win used to be an enormous marvel on Sunday. The 23-year-old had only one victory to his credit score this season and used to be some distance down the record of race favorites, but the Danish rider used to be the person who crossed the road hands aloft.

Pedersen used to be a large marvel, eclipsing extra fancied riders like three-time champion Peter Sagan (Slovakia), Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet (Belgium), Excursion de France animator Julian Alaphilippe (France), and protecting champ Alejandro Valverde (Spain).

And but it’s some distance from the primary time that an interloper has received biking’s maximum prestigious sooner or later race. Taking the previous 3 a long time as a pattern, there’s a scattering of championship winners who defied expectancies and dismayed the bookies. Some flourished after their wins, some faltered. Those are the ones riders.

1990: Rudy Dhaenens

Using the Utsunomiya worlds at 29 years of age, the Belgian used to be untipped moderately than unknown. He’d had a cast profession as much as that time, profitable a Excursion de France degree in 1986 and lacking out on some other 3 years later when his tubular rolled off all over a solo smash on the subject of the end line. He’d additionally been 2nd within the 1986 Paris-Roubaix and 1/3 the next yr. However Dhaenens used to be very a lot a domestique, mechanically sacrificing his possibilities to lend a hand the extra a success riders at the PDM workforce.

American LeMond used to be probably the most sizzling favorites usurped by way of Dhaenens in 1990. Photograph: VeloPress

A kind of, Sean Kelly, used to be tipped as a imaginable winner of the Utsunomiya worlds in Japan. Protecting champion Greg LeMond used to be some other favourite, psyched after his Excursion de France victory. However as the massive weapons watched each and every different and dithered of their pursuit, Dhaenens and Belgian teammate Dirk de Wolf driven ahead from a small breakaway and crossed the road 8 seconds transparent of a star-studded chase team led house by way of Gianni Bugno (Italy).

Dhaenens’ second of glory used to be the height of his profession; the next season, his effects integrated fourth on a degree of the Excursion de France and 1/3 on a degree of the Volta a Catalunya. He reverted to his domestique function after which, in 1992, two years after the most important luck of his profession, middle issues compelled an early retirement.

Six years later he died tragically, crashing his automotive en path to the end of the Excursion of Flanders the place he used to be because of commentate at the race for Eurosport. It used to be simply 8 years after he surprised the sector together with his surprising win.

    1. Rudy Dhaenens (Belgium): 06:51:59
    2. Dirk De Wolf (Belgium): S.T
    3. Gianni Bugno (Italy): +0:00:08
    4. Greg LeMond (USA): S.T
    5. Sean Kelly (Eire): S.T
    6. Laurent Jalabert (France): S.T
    7. Johnny Weltz (Denmark): S.T
    8. Andreas Kappes (Germany): S.T
    9. Maurizio Fondriest (Italy): S.T
    10. Claude Criquielion (Belgium): S.T

1998: Oscar Camenzind

Heading into the 1998 worlds, two large subjects have been large on other folks’s minds. The primary used to be the disastrous Festina Affair, which had decimated the Excursion de France months previous and taken the game to the threshold of downfall. The second one used to be the go back of Lance Armstrong after his combat with testicular most cancers. The Texan had surprised biking analysists together with his fourth position within the Vuelta a España and that shape, plus his earlier global championship win in 1993, had many speculating that he may land his 2nd rainbow jersey.

Camenzind had additional luck within the years after his worlds win handiest to check certain for EPO in 2004. Photograph: Tim De Waele/Getty Photographs

On the other hand on a chilly, rainy and muddy day in Valkenburg, some other competitor proved more potent. Six riders led heading onto the general lap, particularly Armstrong, Oscar Camenzind (Switzerland), Michael Boogerd (Netherlands), Michele Bartoli (Italy), Peter Van Petegem (Belgium) and Niki Aebersold (Switzerland).

Camenzind had completed 2nd within the earlier yr’s Excursion de Suisse and had additionally been fourth within the 1998 Giro d’Italia. On the other hand others within the lead team had some distance higher profession effects, and so it used to be a large marvel when he soloed transparent at the ultimate lap. Boogerd punctured, dropping his likelihood, whilst Armstrong and Aebersold have been struggling within the tough climate prerequisites and have been dropped.

Van Petegem and Bartoli attempted to reel within the Swiss rider however trailed in 23 seconds again. Armstrong led within the different two riders one minute and ten seconds in the back of.

Camenzind showed his new stage by way of taking the Giro di Lombardia six days later, and received the Excursion de Suisse in 2000 and Liège-Bastogne-Liège the next yr. On the other hand in 2004 he examined certain for EPO previous to the Athens Olympics. He retired from the game and admitted the usage of the banned substance, however refused courtroom orders to call his provider. He mentioned that he might be put at risk if he did so, and in addition claimed that he might be arrested in a foreign country if he spoke out.

  1. Oscar Camenzind (Switzerland): 06:01:28
  2. Peter Van Petegem (Belgium): +00:00:23
  3. Michele Bartoli (Italy): S.T
  4. Lance Armstrong (USA): +00:01:10
  5. Niki Aebersold (Switzerland): S.T
  6. Micheal Boogerd (Netherlands): S.T
  7. Marc Wauters (Belgium): +00:04:31
  8. Andrea Tafi (Italy): +00:04:44
  9. Raimondas Rumsas (Lithuania): S.T
  10. Udo Bolts (Germany): S.T

1999: Oscar Freire

Verona used to be the site for the 1999 worlds and lots of anticipated the environment for Romeo and Juliet to be a fairytale for Frank Vandenbroucke. The Belgian used to be dually thought to be a vastly proficient motorbike rider but in addition a stricken person; his profession used to be marked by way of peaks and troughs, however he seemed to be on most sensible of his sport when he received the 1999 Het Volk and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, then took two levels plus the issues classification within the Vuelta a España.

Vandenbroucke used to be so assured that he would change into global champion that he predicted his luck in a dialog with Belgian nice Eddy Merckx previously. On the other hand issues didn’t pass to plot: he crashed all over the race, fracturing each wrists. He endured on however his harm supposed that he couldn’t trip explosively out of the saddle. As an alternative, 9 riders headed into the general kilometer, with the practically-unknown Oscar Freire putting in place a text-book very best surge with about 500 meters to head.

Freire timed his assault completely to take a marvel rainbow jersey in 1999. Photograph: Tim De Waele/Getty Photographs

The Spaniard’s transfer used to be extremely timed: the gang snaked to the correct at the vast completing immediately, then temporarily snapped again in opposition to the left. Moderately than following that educate, Freire leaped from his place of third-last rider simply because the others have been heading in opposition to the left barrier and, the usage of the right-hand aspect of the street, stuck them totally unawares.

The others hesitated and that used to be all Freire wanted: he crossed the road 4 seconds forward of Marcus Zberg (Switzerland) and Jean-Cyril Robin (France). Vandenbroucke and Jan Ullrich have been among the others trailing in as a part of the similar team.

On the time, 23-year-old Freire used to be seemed by way of some as a fortunate winner however he temporarily set about proving the doubters unsuitable. He received two levels of the Vuelta a España the next season, in addition to a grab of different victories, then received the worlds once more in 2001 and 2004. The ones 3 victories noticed him draw stage with the former document shared by way of Alfredo Binda, Rik van Steenbergen, and Eddy Merckx.

He used to be a very good sprinter, a cast climber and an excellent race tactician. His palmares additionally contains 3 editions of Milan-San Remo, 3 of Brabantse Pijl, one each and every of Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Excursions, 4 Excursion de France degree wins plus the 2008 issues classification, seven Vuelta a España levels and the 2005 Tirreno-Adriatico.

Of the surprising worlds winners we’ve got indexed right here, he used to be by way of some distance essentially the most a success in a while.

  1. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa): 06:19:29
  2. Marcus Zberg (Switzerland): +00:00:04
  3. Jean-Cyril Robin (France): S.T
  4. Francesco Casagrande (Italy): S.T
  5. William Chann McRae (USA): S.T
  6. Oscar Camenzind (Switzerland): S.T
  7. Frank Vandenbroucke (Belgium): S.T
  8. Jan Ullrich (Germany): S.T
  9. Dmitri Konyshev (Russia): S.T
  10. Daniele Nardello (Italy): 00:00:59 secs

2000: Romāns Vainšteins

Following the surprises in 1998 and 1999, a hat-trick of surprising winners used to be finished the next season when Romāns Vainšteins blasted house first. The Latvian used to be a good rider, having received Paris-Brussels, a degree within the Giro d’Italia and two in Tirreno-Adriatico the former yr, however no person anticipated that he might be best possible of the bunch in Plouay, France.

Michele Bartoli used to be a part of a robust Italian workforce left dissapointed by way of Vainšteins’ marvel win in 2000. Photograph: Tim de Waele

The race featured an overly robust Andre Tchmil (Belgium), who tussled many times with the Italian workforce of Michele Bartoli. They canceled each and every different out and heading in opposition to the road, Bartoli’s teammate Francesco Casagrande installed an excellent but in the end futile solo transfer. Tchmil attempted once more however the Italians introduced him again as soon as once more.

Protecting champion Freire used to be in nice shape and gave the impression poised to copy his win. On the other hand he were given boxed in on the subject of the road and whilst he used to be ready to extricate himself a few seconds later, the extend used to be sufficient for Vainšteins and Zbigniew Spruch (Poland) to hit the road forward.

The brand new global champion logged some cast effects the next season, together with levels in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya plus 1/3 in Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. On the other hand that used to be as excellent because it were given for him; he raced for 3 extra seasons however by no means approached the rest like the similar heights once more.

  1. Romāns Vainšteins (Latvia) +06:15:28 (42.698 km/h)
  2. Zbigniew Spruch (Poland): S.T
  3. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spain): S.T
  4. Michele Bartoli (Italy): S.T
  5. Tobias Steinhauser (Germany): S.T
  6. Niki Aebersold (Switzerland): S.T
  7. Scott Sunderland (Australia): S.T
  8. William Chann Mcrae (USA): S.T
  9. Paolo Bettini (Italy): S.T
  10. Francesco Casagrande (Italy): S.T

2003: Igor Astarloa

Having received 3 International Cup races all over the 2003 season, Paolo Bettini used to be tipped as most definitely the most important favourite for the 2003 worlds in Hamilton, Canada. The Italian went into the race a yr after compatriot Mario Cipollini triumphed and whilst the direction used to be too tricky for the sprinter to copy – in truth, he didn’t even participate – Bettini’s robust season and his talent to maintain punchy climbs put him prime on his opponents’ risk record.

Bettini used to be on a tear in 2003, having received Milan-San Remo previous within the yr, and used to be a favourite for the worlds. Photograph: Tim De Waele

Additionally tipped have been Oscar Freire (Spain) and Peter Van Petegem (Belgium). However on the finish of a difficult, hilly race, the little-known Igor Astarloa slipped away with Van Petegem, Bettini, Michael Boogerd (Netherlands), Oscar Camenzind (Switzerland), and Bo Hamburger (Denmark), then rocketed transparent on a protracted drag with roughly 3 kilometers closing. He cleaved thru a robust headwind to achieve the road 5 seconds forward of Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Van Petegem, and Bettini.

Even if the Spaniard had received that yr’s Flèche Wallonne, his trouncing of some distance larger names stunned many. He by no means confirmed the similar dominant shape once more: the next yr, his sole victory of observe used to be a degree of the Brixia Excursion. In 2005 he took a degree of the Vuelta a Burgos, and in 2006 he received Milan-Turin. His profession stuttered after that, together with his Milram workforce finishing its contract with him in Would possibly 2008 amid studies of abnormal blood values.

Even if Astarloa raced on with the smaller Amica Chips-Knauf workforce, he used to be named in June 2009 as probably the most 5 riders who have been red-flagged by way of the UCI’s new organic passport scheme. He retired a number of months later and used to be therefore passed a two-year suspension plus a nice of €35,000. Media studies prompt that blood values within the time after his global championship win have been among the ones which had come to the UCI’s consideration.

  1. Igor Astarloa (Spain): 06:30:19
  2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain): +00:00:05
  3. Peter Van Petegem (Belgium): S.T
  4. Paolo Bettini (Italy): S.T
  5. Michael Boogerd (Netherlands): +00:00:06
  6. Bo Hamburger (Denmark): S.T
  7. Michael Barry (Canada): S.T
  8. Luca Paolini (Italy): 00:00.12
  9. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spain): S.T
  10. Janek Tombak (Estonia): S.T


As may also be famous, there’s a hole of over a decade between that final marvel winner and Pedersen. The following 15 editions after Astarloa’s triumph have been way more predictable, with riders similar to Freire, Tom Boonen, Paolo Bettini, Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd, Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert, Peter Sagan, and Alejandro Valverde all rising on most sensible.

Pedersen’s luck this yr heralded a go back to the marvel champion. So, what occurs subsequent for the younger Dane? That’s all the way down to Pedersen – time will inform if his profession shines brightly like Freire, or fizzles out like the ones of Dhaenens, Camenzind, Vāinšteins, and Astarloa.

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