Wanaka cyclist reflects on series win
Mikayla Harvey, 19, is not resting on her laurels after snatching the 2017 Calder Stewart Cycle Series title from defending triple champion Sharlotte Lucas, in October.
New Zealand’s 2017 under-23 time trial champion is planning another raid on the elite ranks of women’s road cycling at the 2018 national championships in Napier in January.
But a sizeable contingent of other under-23 women will also be gunning for the line, including Harvey’s Team Illuminate team mate Georgia Catterick.
‘‘I want to come in the top three in elites, which is quite a big goal. There’s quite a few professional riders around like Rushlee Buchanan, who are likely to be very good so I am wanting to hang on to them.
‘‘Then there’s all the riders from the Calder Stewart series, including Sharlotte. She’s my arch rival,’’ Harvey admitted.
Reflecting on her series win, Harvey agreed had Lucas raced with a team in the first of the six races, instead of as an individual, Lucas could well have won her fourth title.
Harvey (Mike Greer Homes) had just seven points up her sleeve in the deciding 108km race in Christchurch and raced aggressively to second place, behind Lucas (Cycle Surgery).
Lucas triumphed in the bunch sprint to win in two hours and fifty nine minutes, but was still four points behind series winner Harvey.
Harvey said her own decision making in the Timaru leg of the series in April could also have had ramifications.
‘‘I decided not to chase her [Lucas] down [in a breakaway]. I regret that, as the gap in points closed. But saying that, it ended up being a really awesome series,’’ Harvey said.
A second professional campaign with Team Illuminate looms in 2018.
‘‘That is a totally different level. In New Zealand I am able to race on the front. The racing for me is very tactical. But in the United States I am not the strongest rider. For me, I am just sitting in the bunch and trying to hold on . . . It’s a definite eye opener,’’ she said.
Harvey will compete in as many Central Otago Wakatipu Cycle Club races as she can this summer.
She is also setting up a homekitchen based business, My Little Pantry, to sell wheat and dairy free desserts and snacks at Wanaka’s Farmers’ Market.
Mikayla Harvey is preparing for the national championships in January.