Harris hoping for smoother, safer season

Dunedin cyclist Ella Harris is hoping for a bit more luck this racing season.PHOTO: ODT ARCHIVES
Dunedin cyclist Ella Harris is hoping for a bit more luck this racing season.PHOTO: ODT ARCHIVES
Dunedin cyclist Ella Harris made her return to racing late last month and is hoping for a more consistent season without injury.

The 22-year-old Canyon/Sram rider arrived in Belgium about a week before her opening race.

She competed in Dwars Door Vlaanderen on March 31 and has since raced twice more.

She said on her team’s website how much she was looking forward to her third professional season.

Harris broke her leg in August after crashing while preparing for the Strade Bianche in Siena, Italy.

Having recovered from that accident she had another setback in January. She crashed again and injured her pelvis.

"I used the enforced rest to start afresh and make some positive changes, and since then my training has been going really well," she said on the eve of her return race.

"I’m really excited to be back in Europe and I’m definitely ready to race again, but also quite nervous.

"I haven’t been in a large race for quite some time, especially where positioning and ‘fighting’ will be imperative.

"I’m not quite as fearless and confident with my bike-handling as I used to be, so I hope that getting my first race out of the way will improve these aspects."

As for her expectations this season, Harris was hoping for a bit more luck.

"I don’t know if it’s too much to ask but I’d really like to have a smooth season without too many negative impacts on my own physical health.

"I’m not sure how many times I can keep crashing and get back up, if I’m perfectly honest.

"I haven’t set my sights on any particular races at this stage. But I know that I really want to be in good form come the Ardennes and the stage racing in May."

Wanaka rider and Harris’s team-mate Mikayla Harvey has also returned to racing following a three-week break.

The 22-year-old joined Harris and rode in the Brabantse Pijl on April 14.

“Things weren’t going quite right [during] the last month," Harvey told the website.

"I was starting to feel fatigued the whole time. I took a step back and spoke with my close network of supporters.

"I realised I was training very hard, not getting enough recovery, and after my first long winter in Europe I was also low in vitamin D and iron.

"Fortunately, these were all easily fixed and I have spent the past few weeks really focusing on my diet and recovery,” she said.

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