A transgender cyclist won a race in the female division recently. She took the number one spot and with it earned a lot of criticism.
Austin Killips is a transgender cyclist from the US who was born male. The 16-year-old competed at the 31st Annual Verge Northampton International Cyclocross that was held in Massachusetts. The event featured a mix of on- and off-road cycling complete with various obstacles and technical challenges along the road.
She raced in the elite women division during the first day of the competition. Killips won the race with a time of 50:25 and snatched the first position. Behind her was Ava Holmgren who was just one second away from her. The third position winner was Lizzy Gunwales with a time of 50:31.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has allowed transgender athletes to compete if they honor several conditions.
Transgender athletes have to display reduced levels of their testosterone level for 24 months before the tournament kicks off. The UCI also lowered the testosterone limit to be in line with the “maximum testosterone level found in 99.99 percent of the female population.
Judging from how the race went, it was suggested that Austin Killips earned her number one spot due to her analytical approach rather than her physical advantages. She also explained how bike racing is not just about physical prowess.
“I approach the sport scientifically. I am a student of the sport. You need to have an affinity and passion for it to be spending so much time watching races and analyzing. Observation is a huge part of getting better. There are many resources like the course previews and years of coverage of racing.” Killips said.
She added, “I haven’t raced that much abroad so my experience is mostly in the domestic scene. We have a strong sense of community and solidarity in the US pro peloton. Bike racing is so very small in the USA and with a lot of overlap between the road and cyclocross peloton. I feel the solidarity between us all to help progress the sport for women, whether those are trans women or not.”
— 🚲 (@i_heart__bikes) November 12, 2022