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, who will be competing at the Tour (Sunday 5-12 September) for the first time in 2021. Scheske, who has just finished his Sports Science degree, is currently clocking up around 25 to 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-ranked events in Europe.

Scheske 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 two 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 ambitions.”

The Devon stage of the race takes place on the second day of the 2021 Tour (Monday 6 September). Upon leaving the new town of Sherford in South Hams, riders will head to Exeter city centre via Tavistock and a challenging west-to-east run through Dartmoor National Park. Exeter last hosted a stage finish in 2014, when Austrian rider Matthias Brändle soloed to a memorable victory.

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 Monday 6 September to give our local economy a much-needed boost.”