‘Backlash’ and Technicality Bars British Man From Women’s Bike Race

Matt Philbin | April 4, 2022
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It turns out that if you get enough people willing to point out that the empress has no womb, you can pre-empt a lot of silliness and dishonesty. 

It just happened in the U.K., where the UCI, the governing body of cycling, ruled that Emily Bridges, the male body of women’s cycling, was ineligible to compete against actual ladies in the British National Championship. 

Related: Welsh Cyclist Becomes Newest Trans To Ruin Women's Sports

Emily set a national men’s junior record in 2018, as Zach. Now, according to the Guardian, “the UCI ruled the 21-year-old, who began hormone therapy last year to reduce her testosterone levels, was currently not compliant with its regulations as she is still registered as a male cyclist – and therefore cannot compete as a woman until her male UCI ID expires.”

But the real story is that:

The UCI’s decision came amid a growing backlash from within the sport, with the Guardian understanding that a number of female riders were talking about boycotting the event in Derby because they felt that Bridges, who was on the Great Britain Academy programme as a male rider until being dropped in 2020, had an unfair advantage.

Yep. And the UCI found a weasel way out. Crisis averted for now. But the Guardian quotes a statement from British Cycling:

British Cycling is today calling for a coalition to share, learn and understand more about how we can achieve fairness in a way that maintains the dignity and respect of all athletes. Across sports, far more needs to be done, collectively, before any long-term conclusions can be drawn.

So given time and jargon and cover, they’ll yet find a way to wreck women’s cycling. In the meantime, Bridges isn’t happy, telling the BBC: "No-one should have to choose between being who they are and participating in the sport that they love."

Nor do you. You got a bike, go ride.