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Race Report

Safiya al-Sayegh - a historic first

On Sunday 18th of September, Safiya Al Sayegh made History. She was the first athlete from the United Arab Emirates to take part in the road cycling World Championships, in Wollongong, Australia.

Safiya is only 20 years old and currently is divided between professional cycling, with the UAE team ADQ jersey, and academic career: there are not many athletes who manage to combine university commitments with the extremely hard training required of a professional. Her path towards cycling has not been smooth and linear. Indeed, she had to convince her parents that she could manage studying and cycling, as well as all the dangers that may come with racing and by which especially her father was scared.  In 2022 she graduated as national champion both in the road and time trial: she aspires to be an example for all the emiratine girls. As a matter of fact, in her country the cyclist movement is just born, and is growing each year, but in a more intense way among men. What Safiya would like is to inspire more women to ride and practice this sport. In the UAE there is not yet a tradition of road cycling: she wrote the first page.
On Saturday, she will participate in the road race. She is perfectly aware of having a lot of responsibilities and expectations coming from her family and fellow countrymens, but she stated that these factors are an extra boost.



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