Following boycott warnings from female rivals, a born male cyclist who now portrays himself as a woman was prevented from racing in a women’s race this weekend.
Emily Bridges, who used to race against men as Zach Bridges, was kicked out of the British National Omnium Competition for women on Saturday.
Trans cyclist Emily Bridges is set to MISS OUT on qualification for this summer's Commonwealth Games https://t.co/t88Bp6mzgn
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) April 3, 2022
This would have been Bridges’ inaugural race against a female opponent. According to the BBC, the athlete started hormone therapy only last year.
The Decision by the UCI
The UCI cycling’s governing body said Bridges was not allowed to compete after women said they would not take part in the race.
Bridges – who established a national junior men’s mark over 25 miles in 2018 – was scheduled to run in her debut women’s race against many British Olympians, notably Dame Laura Kenny.
The UCI, on the other hand, determined the 21-year-old, who started hormone therapy in 2021 to lower her testosterone, was now in violation of its rules.
This is because she is still listed as a male competitor, and thus cannot participate as a woman until the expiry of her male UCI Card.
Female riders threatened to pull out of an event en masse unless male cyclist Emily Bridges was barred from racing against them, it is now being reported https://t.co/O3XB484dQu
— ripx4nutmeg (@ripx4nutmeg) March 31, 2022
According to The Guardian, the UCI’s decision “came amid mounting pushback from inside the sport, with a number of female riders discussing boycotting the Derby event since Bridges had an unfair competitive advantage.”
The topic of born-male transgender sportsmen competing against female athletes has gained prominence in the United States as well.
Silencing Female Athletes
In college swimming, Will Thomas used to be a male swimmer, but he started to identify as female and use the name “Lia” to compete with and win races for women.
The criticism was widespread, but those who were most directly affected by the “inclusion” were reportedly made to keep quiet.
However, one Virginia Tech swimmer spoke out publicly when a teammate was beaten by Thomas, who won the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship 500-yard freestyle by a wide margin.
A sticker on the female contestant said, “Say no to guys competing as females.”
“I have a colleague who did not qualify for today’s finals because she was simply bumped,” the collegiate swimmer stated. “It’s sad to witness someone who went through puberty as a boy and has the physical characteristics of a male completely dominate the competition.”
One of her colleagues was moved to tears as she finished 17th, one spot short of the finals after being bumped by Thomas.
The swimmer recalled she was quite emotional and it was difficult to witness because it was her final NCAA; she adored that race and it was painful that she poured everything she had into it today.
It couldn’t be more clear that the controversy with biological males competing in women’s sports is not going to blow over.