Date: Friday, 14 August 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Mikayla Harvey to World ChampsWanaka cyclist Mikayla Harvey, 16, has selected in the New Zealand under-19 women's road racing team for the UCI world championships in Richmond, Virginia, USA next month.

The world champs were not on her immediate horizon in January, when the Wanaka-based Black Magic Women Cycling development squad member told The Mirror of her dreams of a professional career one day.

Harvey has moved quickly since then, securing the New Zealand under-19 women's road racing championship in her first year of junior racing, and doggedly pursuing elite women in domestic and Australian competition.

Mikayla Harvey, 16, of Wanaka.

"It is really exciting," Harvey said of her race on September 25. "But it would be exciting just to see the elite riders and watch and be involved in that environment."

The year 12 Mt Aspiring College student has no expectations other than to gain experience for another under-19 world bid next year, when she hopes to podium.

The race week involves about 1000 elite and junior athletes, with up to 450,000 spectators. The estimated television audience is 300 million.

The UCI world champs were rarely held outside Europe so it was a big deal for the host community, Harvey said.

The under-19 women's 80km road race comprises five 16km laps of a technical course featuring 20 percent gradient hills and cobblestones.

Harvey has been doing 500m hill repeats in the Hidden Hills subdivision plus gravel road sessions on her road bike.

Her parents Patrick and Tammy Harvey will be at Richmond to watch her race.

Cycling New Zealand high performance athlete development manager Graeme Hunn said the junior team was strong and "exciting prospect for the future".

There was strong competition for places and good performances were expected from the juniors, he said.

"They have all shown consistency at domestic events, and internationally at the Oceania and Australian Championships. With three first-year athletes performing currently at this level we can expect an even stronger showing in 2016," Hunn said.

The elite squad has yet to be announced.

Caption: National under-19 road champion cyclist Mikayla Harvey, 16, of Wanaka in action during the Battle on the Border in Australia in May.

Article courtesy Stuff

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