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If question is how to tell when no. 1 piston is a TDC, remove spark plug (unless diesel) and insert plastic straw as you turn engine over by wrench. You should be able to tell when piston reaches top and starts back down. Other method is to remove cam covers and find when intake is closing and exhaust is not yet opening.
not always cam sensor could be crank sensor if it cranks long and starts it can be crank sensor if it starts right away the cam sensor can cause a missfire as well if you have a pressure switch for oil level it to can cause no start check the oil level if its full it can cause a no start if this model is equipped
Sounds like a bad lifter or a bad lobe on a camshaft. Not real familiar with the brand, sometimes you need to pull off the valve cover if it is a pushrod design and check with fingers on rocker arms while engine runs.
But if this is an overhead cam you would need to pull the camshaft and look at cam lobes. Then look for flattened lifter face. Some overhead cams can have lifter discs to adjust gap between lifter and camshaft. Some of the old VW engines used this system. It worked pretty well, but you needed discs on hand to make precise changes.
For 1999 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16V timing belt replacement interval is: 60000 km (37500 miles), or 48 months (4 years). Replace also tensioner roller, (the same interval) ! If you don't know precisely if timing belt has been done, then replace it obligatory !!!
Looking at your brief description about the Timing Belt Replacement. May I suggest a couple of things?
You obviously are Technically adept as replacing cam belts are not the easiest of tasks? However as you are aware when a belt breaks Unless a safe engine the pistons may clip the inlet or exhaust valves and although you are seeing compression one or more may be sticking or possibly the Cam or its cradle has suffered damage, this happened on my Mitsubishi Pajero! I had full compression on all cylinders but would Not run! I made further investigations and found the Cam Carrier/s were ripped out of the cylinder head. I helicoiled them and Bingo instant start.
I hope this points you in the right direction as I'm sure you will solve it with our/my assistance!
Good Luck! and a Happy New year to You and your Family,