Today’s guest is Safiya Al Sayegh, and if you don’t know that name yet - where have you been hiding? Remember it because this Emirati cyclist is the heroine we need!
Safiya is the first Emirati and first Arab woman to join a WorldTour Pro Team, UAE Team ADQ. The 21-year-old athlete kicked off her cycling career in 2016 and turned pro last year, displaying remarkable growth under the guidance of UAE Team ADQ.
She closed 2022 with six medals from the Arab Track Championships, including two gold, three silver and one bronze. And she has been seizing the day by securing a National title in both the Individual Time Trial and Road Race at the annual National Championship for the third time in 2023, confirming her status as the UAE National Champion.
The pro is now gearing up for a number of international races, including the Asian Road Cycling Championships in June, the UCI World Championships in Glasgow in August, the Asian Games in China and the Arab Championships in Saudi - both in September.
In our chat with Safiya, we talk about her first bike, family support, getting dropped and downhills, picking herself back up after a tough mental battle to win an international title, her passion and purpose, and balancing it all with full time university studies.
We also chat about Olympic aspirations and how she’s looking forward to the future as the first Emirati on the Women’s World Tour.
We hope you enjoy!
To follow Safiya’s journey, head to @safiya.alsayegh
For updates on UAE Team ADQ, visit www.uaeteamadq.com and follow @uaeteam_adq and the team’s development team @uaedevo_team.
To follow UAE Team ADQ’s work in encouraging more women to start cycling, follow @wmn_moving_fwd.
To know more about Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Women’s WorldTour, visit uci.org .
Today’s episode was supported by the awesome and adventurous team at Deep Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest pool. Check them out for some truly awe-inspiring scuba and freedive experiences. Visit www.deepdivedubai.com
Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore.
For more info, visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettleset
Dawn & Afshan