Young rider aims to go pro­fes­sional

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

Mikayla Har­vey is not just another Wanaka teenage cy­clist train­ing to thrash her fa­ther. She wants to be a pro.

Mikayla, 16, has al­ready done and dusted her dad, Pa­trick Har­vey, and has twice scalped for­mer road cy­cling cham­pion and Olympic triath­lete Nicky Sa­muels in club races.

Re­cently she had the plea­sure of nearly get­ting Olympic cy­clist Jaime Nielsen, the na­tional sprint and time trial cham­pion.

‘‘I was re­ally happy,’’ the Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege year 12 pupil said of the photo fin­ish against Nielsen in stage 2 of the gru­elling 360km Tour de Vine­yard in Marl­bor­ough over the new year hol­i­day.

‘‘I was very in­ti­mated and I was quite ner­vous go­ing into it. But I had no ex­pec­ta­tions. I was just go­ing to go as hard as I could,’’ she said.

Mikayla’s goal was ‘‘just to fin­ish’’ but after five races she stood on the open age cat­e­gory podium four times.

She also raced in the un­der-19 tour leader’s polka dot jersey and won four of the five un­der-19 ti­tles.

How­ever, she fin­ished third in the un­der-19 cat­e­gory as she had a me­chan­i­cal is­sue on stage four which af­fected her gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion (10th over­all).

‘‘It was pretty awe­some be­ing up there with her [Neilsen] be­cause she is such an awe­some rider,’’ Mikayla said.

Mikayla wants to be a pro­fes­sional cy­clist and race over­seas.

She is coached by her dad and usu­ally trains about 15 hours a week, in­clud­ing pi­lates, run/gym work­outs, and six bike rides, rang­ing from an easy hour on the moun­tain­bike up to three hours on the road bike. Ev­ery so of­ten, she tack­les a six hour ride.

She is a mem­ber of a women’s de­vel­op­ment cy­cling team, Black Magic Women Cy­cling, com­pris­ing some of the best un­der-19 and un­der-23 rid­ers from New Zealand.

The Wanaka-based team was formed by Pa­trick and Tammy Har­vey and is man­aged by Melissa Newell and me­chanic Zeph Wadsworth.

Alexan­dra pro­fes­sional Sophie Wil­liamson has agreed to be a men­tor.

‘In New Zealand, we don’t have any pro­fes­sional teams at that top level so we all want to get over­seas,’’ Mikayla said.

Her next races in­clude the age group club na­tion­als in Christchurch in April. Stage 5 3km Cir­cuit Race: 2nd Over­all, 1st U-19, 3rd in Sprint Ace

Fast pace: Mikayla Har­vey (right, in red) sprints against Jaime Nielsen (cen­tre, yel­low) in the re­cent Tour De Vine­yards in Marl­bor­ough.

What: Mikayla Har­vey’s Tour de Vine­yards re­sults

When: De­cem­ber 30 to Jan­uary 3

Where: Marl­bor­ough Stage 1 10km In­di­vid­ual Time Trial: 3rd Over­all, 1st U-19 Stage 2 82km Road Race: 2nd Over­all in a photo fin­ish for 1st, 1st U-19, 2nd in Sprint Ace Stage 3 124km Road Race: 3rd Over­all, 1st U-19, 3rd in Sprint Ace Stage 4 115km Takaka Hill Road Race: 3rd U-19, 3rd in Sprint Ace

Photo fin­ish: Wanaka ju­nior cy­clist Mikayla Har­vey (top right, in blue) in a photo fin­ish with Jaime Nielsen of Manawatu at the end of stage 2 of the re­cent Tour de Vine­yards in Marl­bor­ough.

Prom­ise: Mikayla Har­vey, 15, of Wanaka is a promis­ing Cen­tral Otago Wakatipu Cy­cle Club ju­nior cy­clist.

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