Trans cyclist Austin Killips wins UCI women’s race. Transphobic outrage ensues
Trans cyclist Austin Killips took victory in the Tour of the Gila women’s race – with transphobes and ‘gender critical’ activists raging at the result.
Killips secured overall victory in the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico after winning the race’s gruelling fifth and final stage on Sunday (30 April).
The 27-year-old rider, who heralds from Chicago and only took up competitive cycling in 2019, finished 89 seconds ahead of Italian Marcela Prieto and also took home the Queen of the Mountain jersey.
As reported by CyclingNews, Killips broke clear in the final few minutes of racing on the “Gila Monster” stage, a 110.9 km (65.9 miles) from Silver City to Piños Altos.
The Tour of the Gila is a 36-year-old elite race sanctioned by the sport’s world governing body, the UCI.
This year marks the first time the race has offered equal prize money, with a purse of $35,350 (£28,145) available in both the men’s and women’s competition.
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Reports suggest Killips took home around $8,000 for winning the race, as well as an additional $800 for taking the title of Queen of the Mountain.
“This win was possible thanks to the community and connections I’ve been fortunate enough to build over the years through bikes,” Killips said in a lengthy social media statement.
She continued: “After a week of nonsense on the internet I’m especially thankful to everyone in the peloton and sport who continue to affirm that twitter is not real life.
“I love my peers and competitors and am grateful for every opportunity I get to learn and grow as a person and athlete on course together.”
“Hug your friends, ride bikes together, and never forget that a better world is possible,” she added.
Transphobes were, of course, outraged by Killips victory and quickly decried the win as “cycling’s Lia Thomas moment”.
The comment referenced the controversy which surrounded swimmer Thomas, who was the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship after taking victory in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event.
Bigots were angered by UCI guidelines which state trans women are allowed to compete in women’s competitions if their testosterone levels have been below 2.5 nanomoles per litre for at least 24 months.
The average testosterone level for cis women is between 0.5 and 2.4 nanomoles per litre.
Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who has campaigned to keep trans women out of sport, described Killips win as “disappointing” and blasted the UCI as “not fit for purpose”.
Issuing support to Killips, US Olympic rower Kendall Chase called the rider a “Queeeeeeeen” whilst pro road cyclist Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan simply commented a heart emoji under Killips Instagram post.
Killips victory comes amid increased scrutiny of trans athletes, with World Athletics taking steps in March to ban trans women from competing.
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