Young rider aims to go professional
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.