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VN News Ticker: Max Schachmann takes second consecutive Paris-Nice; Team Sky/GB Cycling Richard Freeman maintains he ‘never doped a rider’

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, March 15.

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Max Schachmann secures second consecutive Paris-Nice victory

Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won a second consecutive Paris-Nice Sunday.

The German trailed Primož Roglič by 52 seconds going into the final stage, but when Roglič crashed twice on the final stage, Schachmann went to the front, escorted by his teammates and also aided by Astana-Premier Tech who were trying to elevate Aleksandr Vlasov’s podium position.

“I’m happy about winning the general classification, however, I have some mixed feelings. All the events came thick and fast today: I had a mechanical ahead of the first climb and had to chase hard to get back on, and Primož then crashed twice. We tried to wait for him, but when he went down for the second time we had a strong leading group in front of us and were trying to fight for the stage win,” Schachmann said

Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) took the top spot on the podium on the final stage.

The last two stages of this year’s race were shortened and the routes altered as the regions in France went back into lockdown to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.

Schachmann won the 2020 edition of Paris-Nice, which was shortened by one day when the planned final stage was canceled at the onset of the initial pandemic shutdown.

Former GB Cycling and Team Sky medical chief Richard Freeman maintains he “never doped a rider”

Richard Freeman, who had been chief doctor for GB Cycling and also Team Sky has insisted he’s “never doped a rider,” insisting testosterone treatments ordered in his name were meant for Shane Sutton’s erectile dysfunction

Last week, Freeman admitted to 18 of 22 charges against him relating to the ordering of a package of Testogel to British Cycling headquarters in 2011.

Following a two-year trial, the British Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found Freeman had ordered the drugs knowing or believing it was to dope a rider.

“I accept there are people who don’t believe me. They will say I’ve lied and changed my story and can’t trust anything I say. I’ve admitted to those lies,” Freeman continued. “I’m still shocked at this verdict. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I’m not a doping doctor.”

The tribunal said it had found Freeman’s evidence “implausible” and “dishonest” and that his conduct was “incapable of innocent explanation,” according to an AFP report.

Freeman responded to the allegations of ordering performance-enhancing drugs for riders as “unbelievable.”

“It’s unbelievable,” Freeman said of the tribunal ruling. “I have never doped a rider in my life. I’m still to see any evidence of who this rider
supposedly was.”

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service will sit again next week to assess Freeman’s fitness to practice.

The doctor is also facing two anti-doping charges in the U.K.

Corso Sports Marketing adds women’s division

The sports marketing agency Corso which currently represents Mads Pedersen, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and João Almeida added a women’s division.

The agency has added Coryn Rivera and Franziska Koch (both Team DSM), Hannah and Alice Barnes (both Canyon-SRAM), and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar).

The division will be lead by Katie Bollin, a 15-year veteran of the cycling industry.

“This is an exciting time in the evolution of the agency. For so many years, a lot of the women athletes have gone at it on their own,” directors João Correia and Ken Sommer said in a statement. “The efforts they have tirelessly put in are now reaping the rewards as the sport continues to grow and we’re excited to be in a position to support that drive and offer the same representation that has helped make our men’s athletes household names.”