29 Nov 2020

New Zealand cyclist prepares for new pro contract

11:09 am on 29 November 2020

For many people 2020 has been a crazy year and for top New Zealand cyclist Mikayla Harvey it was made even tougher by losing her job.

2020 Road World Championships - Individual Time Trial Women Elite - Mikayla Harvey of New Zealand.


However the 22 year old from Wanaka is hoping her fortunes will improve in the next couple of weeks with confirmation that she has a team to ride for in 2021.

Harvey and fellow New Zealander Niamh Fisher-Black were left in the cold last month when their Swiss team Equipe Paule Ka folded.

The team's French fashion label sponsor had failed to make payments to the team.

"Our teams folding was so sad and it was definitely such an overwhelming time, but luckily I was able to find a contract with a team," Harvey said.

Harvey finished fifth in this year's Giro Rosa Tour of Italy, while Fisher-Black is in her first year as a professional.

Details of Harvey's new team should be coming out in the next few weeks.

Her second year as a pro-rider in Europe has been an extraordinary one, she's is currently living under lock down in the Northern Italian town of Berasi.

"It has literally been the most crazy year of my life."

"I've had so many incredible moments and then at the same time so many things have gone really bad, but now I'm use to going through adversity and taking one step at a time and I've figured out that you can't stress too much about things that are out of your control, I'm trying to stay as positive as possible."

The area where Harvey lives in northern Italy is currently a coronavirus code red zone which is the highest risk and it means everyone is restricted to their homes except for shopping, medical reasons and a small window for exercise.

"We've gone back into full lockdown so I'm spending a lot of time inside my apartment which is a little hard but hopefully things will slowly get better over the next few weeks and being able to get out a bit more."

"So I've decided to stay in Europe this (northern) winter which will be my first time having a cold Christmas which will be crazy."

That is putting a bit of pressure on her and her family, especially at this time of the year.

"It's been hard for my family, they miss me so much as well and I don't actually know the next time that I'll see them and this will be the first christmas away from them so that's going to be really hard."

Mikayla Harvey

Photo: Equipe Paule Ka

"I have thought about Christmas, I don't know what I'm going to do, it'll depend on what the Covid isolation rules are by then, but I'll definitely be FaceTiming my family."

Fortunately Harvey is still being paid from the UCI who has a fund that supports riders when teams get into difficulty.

"The team was really good at supporting us through these times so financially I've been good and I've also had a lot of support from my family as well."

Despite the strict regulations for Italians at the moment, Harvey is allowed out for a couple of hours each day allowing her to get on her bike.

"So I've been training in a 10km radius, I'm so lucky to have this beautiful mountain I can climb up so I've been doing a lot of reps up there for the last three weeks.. the views are amazing so I can't complain too much."

"There are a lot of cyclists in this area , but we're not allowed to ride together."

"We can chat from a distance which allows me to practice my Italian."

Harvey's new contract doesn't kick in until next year with the new European season due to start at the end of February.

It does mean she'll miss out on competing at the National championships which she's disappointed about as she's never won the national title.

And despite being away from family at the end of a tough year, Harvey is remaining positive that 2021 will be a good one for her.