Cyclist who lost race to trans woman says she ‘couldn’t care less’ if winner was trans

A woman cyclist who came second to a trans woman in a race has said she couldn’t care less if the winner was trans, debunking reports by right-wing news outlets that competitors boycotted the podium. 

Lesley Mumford won the Desert Gravel Co2Ut race, a 100-mile course from Colorado to Utah, in the 40-49 age group, in April 2023 with a time of 06:28:01. Lindsey Kriete placed second and Michelle van Sickle was third. 

Mumford subsequently came in sixth place in the overall women’s category but had the opportunity to stand on the podium for her age group, which she did so on her own because the other competitors had left the venue. 

“I have no idea why so many people bailed before the podiums, but they did,” she wrote in a now-private Instagram post

‘What does that matter if the winner was trans?’

Right-wing media outlets were quick to jump on claims that Kriete and Van Sickle boycotted the podium because Mumford is trans.

But runner-up Kriete has now vehemently denied this. 

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Speaking to on Friday (19 May), Kriete said: “I knew I hadn’t placed in the top three overall, so I didn’t stick around. I waited for my friends to finish, we drank some beer, ate some food, then headed back to shower and sleep.” 

Setting the record straight that there was no deliberate plan to boycott the podium, she said: “I could not care less if the winner was transgender – what does that matter?”

Mumford faced a backlash after her victory, with anti-trans Twitter users claiming she “cheated” while misgendering her. 

SiriusXM host, Megyn Kelly, who formerly worked at Fox News and has been outspoken about trans athletes, claimed “women’s cycling is all but gone” and that Mumford competed to “steal” medals. 

Deser Gravel’s statement on Facebook (PinkNews)

In response to the media scrutiny, Desert Gravel issued a statement on Facebook

A spokesperson for the competition reiterated Kriete’s statement that the women had simply left to get food, not as a form of protest. 

“At no time did any rider report any concern to us or protest [against] these results,” the post said. “We have confirmed that the age group winner has undergone all required surgeries and treatments to transition from a man to a woman and would thereby qualify as a woman racer under both USA Cycling and International Olympic Committee rules.

“As we were not aware of this situation or the concerns it may have created and as we did not have a rule (or specific category) defining transgender vs non-binary individuals, the official results of the race will remain as they are.” 

The spokesperson went on to say that the competition “fully support[s] differences in opinion” and understands “people may not like us or our events”. 

However, Desert Gravel and Co2uT does not “allow, promote, condone or support hate speech or comments in our lives or our social channels”, they added. 

“We believe it when we say ‘You belong here’, right up to the point someone cannot belong here respectfully. We continually work to make our events a place for fun over politics, peace over hate, and tough riding for all.”