Mikayla Harvey is enjoying a year of firsts so far. First season with Bigla Pro Cycling and now a first professional race win. The win came in stage 3 of the Tour de Bretagne Féminin and afterwards we got to catch up with her to ask more about it.
Breaking through into one of the biggest teams in women’s cycling has provided Mikayla Harvey with an unprecedented volume of opportunity racing at the highest level and those opportunities have largely come in the form of supporting her teammates; most notably Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig from Denmark. Ludwig has been a regular top ten in the biggest races on the calendar, with Strade Bianche, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege all World Tour races in which Ludwig has finished in the top ten.
Mikayla Harvey has been hard at work for one of the most consistent World Tour performers on the calendar but in the Tour de Bretagne Féminin at the beginning of June Harvey was presented with an opportunity to take a chance for herself. It came in the individual time trial in Plédran, a town of around 7,000 people almost halfway between Brest and Rennes on France’s north coast.
The course itself was a short 10.7km dash but it was far from straightforward. Afterwards Mikayla told us, “It was a very technical time trial, quite different from what I am used to back in New Zealand and Australia. There were approximately 13 corners in 10km so cornering skills were very important. At first I was quite intimidated by the course but my Director Thomas Campana gave me a lot of help and directions towards tackling the course. Also, the conditions on the day where very tough with strong winds and rain; but I actually quite like the crazy weather conditions!”
Harvey, as before during the season, was working for Ludwig who would go on to finish fourth overall, but the allure of the race against the clock was too much to resist for the 20 year old. “I wasn’t specifically targeting the time trial. However, time trialing is my favourite discipline. So whenever I get the chance to race, I give it my all,” Harvey shared.
The former U23 Oceania time trial champion blasted around the course in 15.40mins, 4 seconds clear of Audrey Cordon-Ragot of Trek-Segafredo and 5 seconds up on Juliette Labous of Team Sunweb to take the win on a great day for Bigla Pro Cycling with Ludwig finishing sixth and Nicole Hanselmann just edged out of the top ten in 11th.
Taking her first professional win provided Mikayla with a combination of emotions, with the occasion witnessed by her very proud parents. “It felt surreal taking my first pro win here in Europe. I didn’t believe it for a while, but once the news sunk in I was extremely happy!
“It was very special having my parents there watching me. It added a little extra motivation having them on the sidelines cheering me on.”
From here the immediate future is uncertain. Mikayla has eyes on a first start at the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile – or affectionately the Giro Rosa – that runs from the 5th-14th July and is the premier stage race on the calendar. Barring that there is plenty more to get stuck into including a potential opportunity to pull on the fern later this year.
“I head away to a big training block to prepare for the rest of the season. Racing the Giro is a huge dream of mine, but the selection is pretty tough. Otherwise the season is packed full with heaps of racing. I also have hopes of getting selected to represent New Zealand at the World Champs.”
Watch this space as one gets the feeling that this is just the beginning for Mikayla.