Two years ago Mikayla Harvey was dreaming of gaining a start at the then named Giro Rosa. One year ago Harvey surprised herself by winning the youth classification and finishing fifth in the overall. Fast forward to 2021, and Mikayla has eyes set on another strong performance in the Italian ten-day stage race.
With a new race title the Giro d’Italia Donne will start in Fossano on Friday 2 July. Alongside Mikayla, CANYON//SRAM Racing will have a roster of Alena Amialiusik, fresh from a stage victory in Belgium, Hannah Barnes, Elise Chabbey, Tiffany Cromwell and Alexis Ryan.
“I find it hard to compare myself to last season as so much has changed. I now have a lot more experience and another year of racing in my legs,” explained Mikayla.
“Last year I went into the Giro with very little experience and I was not supposed to be a lead rider for GC. The responsibility fell on me when our leader had to withdraw a day before the start due to an injury. Nevertheless, the Giro has always been a huge goal of mine. I remember back in 2019 my main goal was just to make the team roster. It is crazy that just two years later I am going in with GC aspirations.”
With Kasia Niewiadoma not in the team’s line up, Mikayla says she will enjoy the new role but also stay relaxed about her maglia rosa ambitions. The New Zealand rider refers to the recent form of teammate Alena that gives the team added climbing strength.
“My goal this year is to try my best to climb with the top riders and create some action! I love racing and finding new limits in my physical ability so the Giro will be perfect for this. I feel very privileged going into the race with the freedom of going for a GC result. This is an opportunity that I want to make the most out of. I know this experience will help me in the future and the dream of wearing the pink jersey in the future is definitely a goal I aspire to.”
Mikayla added, “Our team is strong and we have several different types of riders so I believe there will be many opportunities throughout the whole ten days for our team to shine! Elise was racing strong in Tour de Suisse, Alena won a stage last week, Tiffany had a great race at La Course. Everyone is in such good form. It’s going to be exciting for our team!”
ALEXIS RETURNS FROM USA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS TO RACE HER FIFTH GIRO D’ITALIA DONNE.
“The mood and motivation are getting better and better! I love the Giro, and really looking forward to racing with the team again,” says Alexis.
“It is definitely a less-mountainous Giro than previous editions. There are more opportunities for rouleurs and sprinters, which will make it an exciting and unpredictable tour. I’d like to put my hand up for the two sprint stages 5 & 9, because I think that’s where I can help the team shine and get results. But I’m mostly looking forward to supporting our leaders in the mountains. We have more cards to play this year than we’ve had in the past. I’d love to see our team head home with the Maglia Rosa.”
HOW TO FOLLOW
With new race organisers PMG Sport, the 32nd edition of the Giro d’Italia Donne has 50-60 minutes of live coverage of each stage.
The live broadcasts can be found on: GCN+, Eurosport Player, PMGSport YouTube, PMGsport Facebook, TuttoBici, Claro, Simulcast, SBS, NOS, Spark Sport, RaiSport, EBU, SABC Sport, BBC, and on the websites: www.giroditaliadonne.it, www.pmgsport.it, www.tuttobiciweb.it, www.repubblica.it and www.la7.it.
Stage one on Friday 2 July is a 26.7 kilometre team time trial from Fossano to Cuneo. The first team starts at 14:00CEST and the broadcast starts at 15:15CEST.