December 13, 2013 3:55 pm -

The race was in 1993 and the money was delivered via  a cake box.

“It was a young American colleague,” Roberto Gaggioli told the Corriere della Sera, according to a translation. ”He offered me a panettone [a traditional Italian Christmas cake] as a present and wished me a merry Christmas. In the box there were $100,000 in small bills. That colleague was Lance Armstrong.

“Lance said that my team, Coors Light, had agreed to it. I understood that it had all been decided.”

The fixed-up win was crucial to a 22-year-old Armstrong — before he became a celebrated cancer survivor, Tour de France champion and humiliated ringleader of a performance-enhancing drug conspiracy — ultimately locking up the seven-figure prize.

The Million Dollar Race was also known as — irony alert — the Thrift Drug Triple Crown, comprising races in Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Philadelphia. Gaggioli says Armstrong made his pastry payoffs before the final leg in Philly. If Armstrong completed the sweep, he would win $1 million and become the U.S. champion; if Gaggioli or anyone else were victorious, they would only claim a $25,000 prize.