Transgender cyclist Austin Killips wins women’s Tour of the Gila

Killips, a biological male, took up cycling in 2019, and may now try to compete at the Women’s Tour de France and the Olympics

In what has been described as a “Lia Thomas moment” for cycling, Austin Killips, a 27-year-old transgender rider, has won first prize for women at the Tour of the Gila, the premier road race in New Mexico.

“This really highlights the issues that are happening to women in cycling,” Thompson said. “We have more than 50 transgender women in the sport. And what’s going on in the background is that women are just quietly walking away. They think, ‘Why bother, if it’s not fair?’”

Killips’ name first came to wider attention in March, after being cited by former cyclo-cross champion Hannah Arensman in a Supreme Court filing explaining why she was retiring from the sport at 24. Arensman had lost out on a podium place to Killips in the national finals in December, later accusing her transgender opponent of repeatedly shoving her during the race – a claim Killips denied.

“I have decided to end my cycling career,” Arensman said. “My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him during the race. I feel for young girls learning to compete, who no longer have a fair chance at being the new record-holders and champions in cycling because men want to compete in our division.”

Amid the Killips controversy, Thompson, who came third at the women’s Tour de France in 1986 and 1989, argued that the pattern was becoming more common. “These women are young, and there’s a lot of bullying,” she said. “They get cancelled, they get silenced, their jobs are threatened. They get put on the TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] list. If they say anything, they are eviscerated. And so, instead of fighting this, they just walk away.”

Source: Transgender cyclist Austin Killips wins women’s Tour of the Gila

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