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Kiwi cyclist Ella Harris heading back to Spain to continue European season

A long way from her base in Spain, Kiwi cyclist Ella Harris has been putting in the hard yards back home in Dunedin.

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In just over six hours, cyclists from all over the world including Ella Harris will take part in this year's annual Tour de France. Source: 1 NEWS

Forced back because of Covid-19, the 21-year-old has been riding her bike nearly every single day.

“Initially when we went in to lockdown, I went a little bit crazy indoors, I was doing 25 hours a week,” she said.

While lockdown was mostly spent riding indoors, the pro cyclist is now clocking up between 500 and 600 kilometres per week on the open road.

She’s now ready to put that practice in to fruition, in this weekend’s virtual Tour de France.

Ridden in six stages over three weekends, Harris will take part in the event on Monday morning alongside many of the world’s best cyclists. Where for the first time, female cyclists will be on level footing with the men.

It's something she said she’d like to see replicated in future, when the race returns to the open road.

“I think there’s certainly a place for a women’s Tour De France and the exposure a virtual tour will bring to that cause is going to be excellent," she said.

Harris doesn’t want the events run at the same time, rather a separate and slightly shorter event.

She said the challenge of keeping up with riders like the UK’s Chris Froome might be a bit too much.

“Maybe 10 to 12 days, we don’t need to go to 20 days, because women’s racing is its own thing.”

After competing on Monday morning, Harris will head back to Spain on Wednesday to continue her European season.

There she’ll take part in the two final rounds of the virtual tour, while also competing in several road races across Europe.

“We’ll just have to sort out coming back when the time comes I guess. I’m prepared to be over there for quite some time.”

First stop though is the virtual hills in Nice, France. A milestone for not only women’s cycling worldwide, but also for one of New Zealand’s rising stars.