Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1969-11-19 (50 years old)
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Richard Virenque (born 19 November 1969) is a retired French professional road racing cyclist. He was one of the most popular French riders with fans for his boyish personality and his long, lone attacks. He was a climber, best remembered for winning the King of the Mountains competition of the Tour de France a record seven times and also for being one of the central figures in a widespread doping scandal in 1998: the Festina Affair. Virenque finished twice on the podium in the Tour de France (third in 1996 and second in 1997) and won several stages, among them Mont Ventoux in 2002. He is the 18th rider in the Tour to have won stages over 10 years apart; he wore the Maillot Jaune for two days in his entire career.
In December 2007, Virenque and his wife, Stéphanie, divorced after 17 years together. They have two children, Clara and Dario. In 2008 he was associated with a 20-year-old model, Jessica Sow, with whom he made a drinks commercial.Eric Boyer said of Virenque's retirement: "Richard has character, a strong personality. He doesn't let himself go. He looks forwards, never behind. Today, he is a personality [un people]. His return to everyday life has been a success but money isn't an end in itself."Virenque lives at Carqueiranne in the Var region. He is fond of marmots, dancing, wine, gardening and flowers; he is quoted as saying, "Put me in a good garden nursery and I'm in heaven,"
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