Devon based pro cyclist Freddie Scheske will be hoping to make his Tour of Britain debut later this year after the first teams were confirmed for the 2021 edition of the race.
The University of Exeter student rides for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, which will also be competing at The Tour for the first time in September (5-12 September).
Ribble Weldtite is one of six British teams unveiled by The Tour, alongside Canyon dhb SunGod, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, Saint Piran and TRINITY Racing, as well as a Great Britain national squad.
Freddie, who has just finished his Sports Science degree, is currently clocking up around 25-30 hours a week in training to make sure he’s included in the squad for the race. He’ll also be preparing for The Tour by competing in the HSBC UK National Road Series events in August as well as UCI events in Europe.
He said: “The fact that The Tour has announced the British teams early is a huge help. It’s given us time to fully prepare, so we can tailor our race programme for The Tour.
“Training is going well. Having finished my degree, I can focus fully on my training and the rest of the year is focused on the Tour of Britain. I’m doing back to back days of long hours, around four or five hour rides, with efforts towards the end to replicate a stage race.
“Our whole squad is strong, but if I make the team for The Tour I definitely have ambitions for Stage 2 in Devon. It’s a hard stage but if I could get into the breakaway it would be a dream, and once we’re over Dartmoor the finish suits me - but it all depends on how the race goes. For the rest of The Tour I would probably be working as a domestique for whoever in the team has GC (General Classification) ambitions.”
The participation of the domestic teams marks the most home teams in the race since the 2015 Tour of Britain.
The involvement of the Great Britain Cycling Team allows future stars to gain invaluable experience in one of the world’s leading races. Among those who have previously lined up in the race in home colours are 2020 Giro d’Italia champion Tao Geoghegan Hart, 2018 Vuelta a Espana victor Simon Yates and Grand Tour stage winner Hugh Carthy.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “It’s excellent news to see British teams well represented again at this year’s Tour and we’ll all be hoping that Freddie can make the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling squad. Having had to wait an extra year for The Tour, because of the pandemic, we’re really looking forward to the race returning to Devon on 6 September to give our local economy a much-needed boost.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing the first six teams competing in the long-awaited 2021 Tour of Britain. Together with British Cycling, we understand the challenges that they have faced over the past 14 months. We hope that these early invitations give them the chance to plan ahead to September, safe in the knowledge that their place is assured, so that they can arrive at the Tour of Britain in the best possible condition. We know from recent editions of the race that the Great British squad and domestic teams can illuminate the race – I’m looking forward to more of the same later this year!”
Further announcements of teams competing in the Tour of Britain will be announced later this summer. For more information visit https://www.devontourofbritain.co.uk/ and https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/