Duo to take on Europe

These sisters are doing it for themselves.

From first competing against each other at age 12, Mikayla Harvey and Ella Harris have been intertwined

in both cycling races and triathlons.

Now the young Otago cyclists are set to become teammates, Harvey having signed with the Canyon/Sram team for the next two years.

Harris is already signed with the team for two years, so the two riders will be cycling the roads of Europe for the same team.

It was announced on Thursday that Harvey, of Wanaka, would join Harris, of Dunedin, in the team, which is one of the most powerful in Europe.

Harvey said in a statement she believed her style of riding would add to the team, and the team would help her development.

She won the best young rider jersey at the Women’s World Tour Giro Rosa in September and finished fifth in the general classification. It was quickly followed by a seventh place at Fleche Wallonne; she has stamped herself as one of the best young climbers in the women’s peloton in the 2020 season.

Both riders are 22 and Harris, who is back in Dunedin for the summer and recovering from a broken leg, said they had known each other for quite a while.

"I can remember racing against her in 2012 when we were both at primary school at the national triathlon champs. She got first and I got second.

"We have sort of grown up together, doing cycling and triathlon events through the years," Harris said.

"Now we have two girls from Otago riding for the same team in Europe. That is kind of cool."

She was still working through injury and health issues and was hoping to head back to Europe in March. Harvey was set to remain in Europe.

It is a good result for Harvey after her team this year, Equipe Paula Ke, folded in October. She is joined by another rider, Elise Chabbey, from the collapsed team.

Harvey was thrilled with the signing.

"The team promotes positivity and an immense passion for cycling culture. I believe my style of riding will add to the team and it will be the perfect environment to continue my development," she said in a statement.

"I have big aspirations for the Italian, Spanish and Ardennes races ... I am a strong climber and can do a lot of damage on challenging courses.

"My favourite race of the season is Strade Bianche. I love gravel races, so this will be a huge goal of mine for next season."

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