Safiya grabs gold for third straight year at UAE National Time Trial C’ship


Safiya Al Sayegh (centre) celebrates after winning gold at UAE National Time Trial Championship.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The 21-year-old World Tour rider Safiya Al Sayegh, achieved victory for the third consecutive time, participating in the UAE National Time Trial Championship, which was held in Sharjah.

Putting in a strong performance  throughout the windy 20km race, Safiya clocked an average speed of 39.2km/h. Zahra Hussain, the UAE development team rider achieved the second position by a gap of 3min20s, followed by the Emirati Talent Program rider Sheikha Rashed, securing the third position.

The result marks the first gold of the 2023 season for the UAE Team ADQ, which is an inspirational win for other riders in the team.

Cristina San Emeterio, Sports Director of UAE Team ADQ and coach of Safiya, said: “We are proud of Safiya and the spectacular progress she has made since last year. This victory is the result of a customised training approach that we developed to accelerate her athletic ability and break her former training plateau. This approach comprised a series of sessions in Europe with intensive endurance training to strengthen her aerobics consistency, followed by a UAE-based workout training program. UAE Team ADQ’s world-level training camp in Italy and Spain helped her experience the different terrains around the European routes and resulted in her earning the first Gold of the 2023 season to the team.”

Safiya, an Emirati professional cyclist and a rider with UAE Team ADQ, said: “The windy conditions during the race and my legs not being at their best did not stop me from obtaining and defending my title for a third consecutive year. The training conducted by our coaches has been a key driver for this win. I look forward to next weekend’s Road Race, and I thank all the coaches for their hard work and support. I would also like to thank our partner Colnago, which never fails to provide the best bikes that would not let us down at any race.”

Melissa Moncada, Head of UAE Team ADQ, said: “We are incredibly proud of the three winners, who are all part of UAE Team ADQ organisation. It is an inspiring moment for women cycling in UAE and our organisation. This podium witnesses the pathway we are building for Emirati riders through our World Tour Team and the Emirati Talent program,”

“Zahra Hussain, the winner of the second position has joined the UAE Women Development team, after excelling in the performance test. This team illustrates UAE Team ADQ’s commitment to generating high-quality cycling opportunities for talented Emirati women riders and UAE-based talents.

“The bronze winner Sheikha Rashed is also part of UAE Team ADQ’s extended Emirati Talent programme, which is a set of customised training sessions tailored by UAE Team ADQ coaches. This is the ecosystem of excellence and performance we are building to develop the next generation of Emirati women’s talent and the support we provide them to reach their full potential.” Moncada concluded.

In 2022, the Emirati rider Safiya Al Sayegh, first Arab female professional WWT cyclist had a successful season with the National Team and closed it by bringing home six medals from the Track Arab Championships, including two gold, three silver and one bronze.



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