Richard Virenque signs for.... Festina

Ex-cyclist to star in adverts for sponsor of team he rode for at time of ill-fated 1998 Tour

by Simon_MacMichael   March 1, 2013  

Richard Virenque in his role as TV pundit at the 2011 Tour de France Presentation © Simon MacMichael

Richard Virenque is teaming up again with Festina, the watch company whose logo he wore on his jersey for five years up to 1998, when he and his team became engulfed in the doping scandal that overshadowed that year's Tour de France.

The 43-year-old, who won the mountains jersey in the Tour a record seven times, won't be racing again, though - rather, the new deal will see him take part in an advertising campaign for the brand, which remains involved with the race as the official timekeeper.

Acccroding to l'Avenir, news of the association has raised some eyebrows in France, but Virenque, who also retains links with the Tour, working as a cycling pundit for Eurosport, said that the deal had its roots in his friendship with Festina boss Miguel Rodriguez, which goes back to their very first meeting.

"Our mutual trust means we can now consider a number of projects, such as this forthcoming international advertising campaign," he said, pointing out that "Festina has remained faithful to the sport of cycling through. among other things, its partnership for timekeeping in the Tour de France for more than 20 years."


5 user comments

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aah but Mr Virenque you never remained faithful to your sport did you?

posted by Roberj4 [208 posts]
1st March 2013 - 13:33



posted by Colin Peyresourde [1536 posts]
1st March 2013 - 13:34


I have a Festina watch - oh dear, I am a bad person Surprise Wink

posted by Super Domestique [1686 posts]
1st March 2013 - 13:51


Festina might be a dirty word in cycling terms, but in fairness it sounds like it could have been any number of teams caught that year.

I can understand the raised eyebrows but this was 15 years ago.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [242 posts]
1st March 2013 - 14:24


Let Virenque do what he wants... he's already been punished enough, my french friend tells me he's a bit of a joke in france because he took sooooo long to own up to his doping.

Andre Agassi & Stefi Graf do the Longines watch advert & they were never punished by the public or caught for all the EPO they were doing! Waiting

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [112 posts]
23rd July 2015 - 15:04