Trans Cyclist Wins First Place in Women's Race Sparking Backlash

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Thursday, May 4, 2023
Trans Cyclist Wins First Place in Women's Race Sparking Backlash

Trans Cyclist Wins First Place in Women's Race Sparking Backlash

Controversy surrounding transgender athletes in sports continues to ramp up across the country, especially following the recent first-place victory by a transgender cyclist against biological female athletes.

In March, trans cyclist Tiffany Thomas, 47, came in first place at Randall's Island Crit cycling competition, while two biological women came in second and third, respectively.

"It was a great day to play bikes with friends. I can't wait for more days like this," Thomas, a New York City-based biologist, wrote on Instagram.

Just days before Thomas' victory, Champion cyclocross rider Hannah Arensman announced that she was retiring from her cycling career after she lost to a transgender cyclist in late December, the New York Post reports.

"I have decided to end my cycling career," Arensman said on March 15. In late December, she competed in the elite women's division of the UCI Cyclocross National Championships, where she "came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th places," Arensman said.

"My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race," she wrote in a statement shared by the Independent Council on Women's Sports (ICONS).

"Additionally, it is difficult for me to think about the very real possibility I was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor."

Last year Austin Killips, a 27-year-old transgender woman, took home first place at the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross held in Northampton on November 12. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Ava Holmgren of Canada came in second, while 19-year-old American Lizzy Gunsalus came in third.

According to ABC 7 News, Killip's win sparked backlash amongst critics for allowing Killips to compete in the women's division. Northampton International's inclusion policy, however, seems to welcome the inclusion of transgender athletes.

"The Northampton International organization firmly believes that all attendees should have an equal opportunity to participate in our event regardless of their race, color, religion, disability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin," the policy explains.

"We recognize that participation in sport is a human right," the policy continues. "We strive to create an enjoyable event for those currently active in cyclocross in all the different ways they participate, and an inviting one for those who have not joined us yet."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Bryn Lennon/Staff, this is a photo of professional cyclist Hannah Arensman .

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

Trans Cyclist Wins First Place in Women's Race Sparking Backlash