Anquetil won the Grand Prix de Lugano seven times, I think,’ says Brunel. ‘After he’d won it six times, the organiser said to him it would be better if he didn’t come back next year, as he was finding it difficult to get sponsors because Anquetil kept winning. Then, in the winter, he changed his mind and said he could come after all, as he was a star, an important rider, but if he were to let Baldini win, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. “I’ve not got anything against you. It’s for the good of cycling,” the organiser explained. Anquetil said, “OK, but you have to pay me at the start. I don’t want to wait around after to be paid and have to face the journalists. And it’s double the normal rate. If not, I won’t come.” It was all agreed, but when he arrived he went to see Baldini and said, “Listen, don’t say anything to the organisers, but if you want, I’ll let you win today, but you must give me your appearance money.” Baldini agreed and gave him the money up front, so he took all three fees, and he went and won the race. Just for a laugh. It was just a game for him. He got on really well with Baldini. They were very good friends. In fact, Baldini is still a good friend of Jeanine. It wasn’t about the money for Anquetil. It was about having fun. He just wanted to have fun.
Paul Howard (Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape: The Remarkable Life of Jacques Anquetil, the First Five-Times Winner of the Tour de France)