Date: Thursday, 15 September 2016

While most Wanaka year-13 students are knuckling down to their exams, Mikayla Harvey is riding her bike and planning some international travel.

The 18-year-old Mount Aspiring College student is one of the school's growing group of elite athletes who represent New Zealand at world championship level.

Harvey and her parents Patrick and Tammy are off to Doha, Qatar this month for Harvey's second hit out at the junior world road cycling championships.

She first raced at world championships last year and is preparing for the under-19 division in Doha by riding the National Capital Tour in Canberra with the Black Magic Women's under-23 team this weekend.

Auckland under-19 cyclist Maddy Park is also in the Black Magic team and going to Doha.

​The Black Magic team in Australia also includes under-23 women Michaela Kerr of Nelson, Ione Johnson of Wellington and Grace Anderson of Auckland.

Harvey will then spent 10 days training in Sydney before joining Park and junior men James Fouche, Robert Stannard and Campbell Stewart, in Qatar.

Harvey was unplaced in her first world championships experience in the United States last year and hopes she and Park will perform more competitively this time in the 13.7km time trial and 77km road race.

"Everyone is there to win. So you have to have an alliance. But both of us want to do as well as we can, so we will not be sacrificing our race for each other," Harvey said.

Harvey had a frustrating "bump" in her build up three weeks ago, crashing in an Australian race and suffering mild concussion.

"I went down pretty hard. I was knocked out for about a minute  . . . But it can happen to anyone. Hopefully, I will get through it. I am not going to be as prepared as I would have been, going into it. But I have to put it to one side and bo the best I can," she said.

Harvey said while she preferred riding her bike to doing exams, it was inspiring to be at a school with other high achieving athletes, including swimmer Hamish McLean, who is racing this week at the Rio Paralympics.

"I think it is just the people who come to Wanaka. A lot of people come here for the lifestyle and the lifestyle is very sports oriented. There's a lot of athletic people here. That's why we came here," she said.

Harvey's world championship time trial is on October 9. The road race is on October 14.

Photo and article courtesy Stuff


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