In the first of our rider profiles we catch up with Frederik Scheske, a 22 year old category one rider who races for Team Tor 2000 Kalas. Fred took up cycling in 2015 after switching from marathon kayaking, and finished an impressive second in the 2017 Bristol Grand Prix.
You’re now racing with Team Tor 2000 — what’s the story behind the move and how’s it going so far?
Team Tor 2000 is local race team that I have spent the past three years racing against. I’ve always admired their camaraderie. There is a huge amount of experience in the team, so I will be able to learn a lot in terms of race tactics and so on.
What are your goals for the 2018 season? Do you have a favourite type race where you feel you perform best?
For 2018 I would like to achieve a top 10 in the Elite Circuit Series, and gain my elite licence. Last year I had an amazing time at the Rapha London Nocturne. Although I had a mechanical issue, it was still one of my favourite racing experiences, so would be keen to race that again this year. But criterium racing is definitely my strong suit — I love short and sharp races.
What approach do you take to winter training?
Winter training for me doesn’t involve mega base miles like a lot of other people do, but quite a lot of strength/low rev work, including standing starts and shorter efforts. I’m currently being coached by Max Stedman, which has worked well so far.
What does your training look like on the build up to the GP
Now the racing season has begun, it will be a lot of racing. That’s perfect training for the high intensity stuff, especially when I can do two evening crits per week in the spring/summer. Other than that I will have to fit in as much as possible around work, and keep building up my fitness.
Last year we saw you take the sprint from the bunch for second place at the 2017 Bristol Grand Prix. Can you tell us a bit about how the race went for you?
Last year’s Bristol GP was a bit of a breakthrough result for me.
I positioned myself near the front of the race, and got lucky with all the splits. I tried to stay out of trouble and didn’t try too many moves, I just tried to save as much energy as possible for the end.
Knowing it is a technical run in to the line, I forced my way to third wheel with the last tight right hander to go. People started launching their sprint much earlier than I expected, and I was caught out a little, I was forced the long way round, but it also happened to be much more space there, so I could sprint unimpeded.
What is your current race bike setup and what do you particularly like about it?
My current team bike is the new Specialized Tarmac SL6, with mechanical Ultegra, with Schwalbe providing us with PRO ONE tubeless tires. I run it with semi classic style drop bars, and a pro vibe sprint stem. I ride a 56cm frame, which is supposedly a size too small, but allows me to get into a lower, more aggressive position which I prefer.
What is your favourite pre-race breakfast?
I have to go with rice and an omelette. I can’t face porridge before a race, even with all kinds of toppings I find it too much like wallpaper paste.
Do you have any race day rituals or lucky things you have to have or do on a big race day?
I’ve gotta have oil on the legs, motivational watts right there. I usually psyche myself up with a bit of 2000’s euro pop too.
In your opinion, who is the classiest rider from the pro peloton and why?
I would have to say Greg Van Avermaet or Michael Kwiatkowski, they are both stylish but love animate the race, and will always leave everything on the road.
Are there any particular pro races you particularly look forward to watching and why?
I am a huge fan of classics racing, and one day races in general. I loved this year’s Milan-San Remo and can’t wait for Paris-Roubaix.