‘Ambitious’ Harvey leading team at Giro

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Four New Zealanders will ride in the toughest and most prestigious race on the women’s world cycling calendar, with one of them chasing overall glory.

Mikayla Harvey representing New Zealand at the 2020 world championships in Italy.
Photo: PHOTOSPORT

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Mikayla Harvey, 22, will lead Canyon SRAM Racing in the women’s Giro d’Italia, which starts in northern Italy tonight (Friday).

“It’s so special to be given this role and I can’t wait to go out there and make all my teammates and my team proud. I’m a little nervous but super excited at the same time,” Harvey said.

“It is a little crazy being the youngest one [in the team] but then at the same time it’s also really nice knowing I’ve got so many experienced girls to help and guide me.

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“There’s a bit of pressure on me but at the same time I’m feeling pretty calm going into it and at the end of the day I know I can only go as well as my potential. So I’m just going to go out there and give it my all and try and utilise my teammates as much as possible.”

Harvey finished fifth overall in the Giro last year and was the leading young rider.

“It’s been such a special race for me.

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“Two years ago it was my dream to just be starting the race and then last year I had a real good performance so I’m going into this year with some confidence.”

And she is “really ambitious”.

“For me the pink jersey has been a dream of mine since I began cycling so I’m always going to be courageous to try and race my heart out to get that.

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“I want to go into the tour just ready to go as hard as I possibly can and you never know what’s going to happen in a tour it’s 10 days long so so many things can happen. I just have to go in and take it day by day and not stress out too much if things go wrong.

“I’m looking forward to an adventurous 10 days.”

Mikayla Harvey

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Mikayla Harvey on the podium at the 2020 Giro with her former team Paule Ka.
Photo: Equipe Paule Ka

Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), Georgia Williams (Team Bike Exchange) and Michaela Drummond (Bepink) are the other New Zealanders riding in the Giro.

The 10 stage race starts with a 27km team time trial.

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“It’s a real special event the team time trial because you really have to battle and fight with each other to get the fastest time,” Harvey said.

“And it’s a real special event because you get really close with all the girls. I think it’s a nice way to start the tour.”

Stage two will be an early test of Harvey’s general classification aspirations as it finishes atop a climb and the next battle for the leader’s jersey will come on day four with an individual time trial.

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“I’m really excited for it. It’s just over 10 kilometres long and it starts off pretty flat and then the last half is a pretty steep climb.

“So for me it’s perfect because I love time trialing and I like to climb so it’s the best of both worlds so I think that’ll be well suited towards me.”

The Giro is then likely to be decided on the penultimate stage which is another mountainous day with “two huge climbs”.

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“That’s going to be a real challenging day because it’s day number nine as well so everyone’s going to be fatigued, everyone’s going to be tired so it’ll just be about telling the legs to shut up and trying to squeeze out as much energy as possible.”

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