Abu Dhabi-based cyclist Roisin Thomas covered a gruelling 472 kilometres across the seven emirates of the UAE in 14 hours 43 minutes on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old is the first women to cycle around the seven emirates having completed the challenge in 2016.
Starting at 5am in Abu Dhabi, Thomas cycled through Dubai, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Ras Al Kahimah and Sharjah, before finishing up in Nad Al Sheba at 2am on Thursday morning.
From intense heat on the Old Hatta Road to some rain in Fujairah, the cycle across the seven emirates offered everything for Thomas and her strong team of four riders.
“It was fantastic. I’m really happy with the response and support we’ve had. The camaraderie among the group was brilliant and it was really enjoyable all the way through,” Thomas told Sport360.
“We were always ahead of schedule. At 12 when the sun was at its highest point, we were on the Old Hatta Road. We had to make one unplanned trip under a tunnel to get shade because it was really hot.”
In Dibba Al Fujairah, a surprise visitor joined the group in UAE national champion Abdullah Al Falasi, who was out training at the same time.
One of the highlights of the journey for Thomas was the beautiful scenery on the stretch from Dibba Al Fujairah to Umm Al Quwain.
“You are climbing and then when you reach the top you can see the sun setting over the bay. It was really perfect,” added Thomas.
Of course, the most special feeling of the day was when they edged closer to the finish line at Nad Al Sheba after over 14 hours on the bike.
“When everyone saw the Meydan Road come into view, that feeling was really special. I like the feeling of everyone around you feeling positive. That feeling of ‘we did it, and we are all fit and well and still smiling’,” she said.
The other riders supporting Roisin were Raslan Abbadi of Jordan, Ahmed Al Haj of UAE, Andrew Laity of England and Rener Kabayan of the Philippines.
Thomas’ attention now turns to the National Championships in Ireland in June and the UCI World Championships in France in August.