Bike.com has included a little bit about the allegation that
Virenque bought the Courchevel stage win (in 1997) from Ullrich
for 100,000 FF ($13,000 US). Some RBR'ers have pointed out that
Ullrich doesn't speak French. Roussel addresses this in the book:
"Richard [Virenque] s'addressa alors a son adversaire, 'Tu me
laisses gagner, OK?' Ullrich n'avait pas besoin d'interprete.
Seulement d'une calculette." [Virenque asked his adversary, "You
let me win, OK?" Ullrich didn't need an interpreter. Only a
In another excerpt, Roussel says that Laurent Dufaux had
negotiated his victory on the stage to Pampelune with Bjarne Riis
for 30,000FF (about $4000 US) during the 1996 Tour.
The most interesting story also comes at Virenque's expense. A
couple of days before the end of the 1997 Tour, Roussel says that
Ullrich was sick and his adversaries (among whom Virenque was the
best placed to take away the Maillot Jaune) try to put him away
on the stage between Colmar and Montbeliard. Roussel is in the
team car and joins Virenque who is in an escape group that
includes Pantani and Olano. Roussel writes that Virenque has
tears in his eyes and is obviously upset.
"Virenque says, 'They won't play! It's over, I've lost the Tour.'
'Calm down, Richard, calm down. Tell me what's happening.'
'I talked with Laurent Roux. He would go along because he's my
buddy, but he's the only one.'
"At that, I understood that he had been talking with Pantani and
'But what did you offer them?'
'I offered them 10,000FF (about $1300 US).'
'10,000FF? But you're joking! One doesn't offer 10,000FF to
Pantani! With that amount, you'll never find anyone to help
"I had a dozen kilometers and 10 minutes to think about it.
Frankly, it would have been possible [with the right
amount]...but Richard had screwed up. Not only had he deluded
himself, but his impatience, his arrogance, surely had done him
in. Where he should have used subtlety and diplomacy, Richard had
tried to show his fangs. But one doesn't address a Pantani like
he's a peasant..."