A man who identifies as a woman has won first place in the women’s category at a cycling race in North Carolina. This latest result underscores the ongoing debate surrounding transgender participation in women’s sports.
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Austin Killips, a 27-year-old who identifies as a woman, emerged victorious in the women’s category of the “Belgian Waffle Ride North Carolina” held in Hendersonville. According to race reporting from Reduxx, Killips led the women’s division from the start, and no other competitors came close except for a brief period in the middle of the race.
Background on Killips
Killips has been participating and winning in women’s cycling competitions since 2019, when he began identifying as a woman. In May, both USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) declared that Killips meets the standards for trans athletes set by cycling rules.
Controversies and Resistance
However, Killips’ continuous victories have sparked controversy and resistance within the sport. Following his win at the Tour of the Gila, former Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson voiced her concern, tweeting that the UCI’s rules for trans women are “effectively killing off women’s cycling.” Thompson called on female cyclists to protest the UCI’s policies, urging them to take a knee at starting lines and carry “Save Women’s Sports” signs at every race.
In a recent race in Colorado, two women who placed second and third refused to join the podium ceremony with a first-place winner who was a man identifying as a woman. This incident was hailed by advocates for women’s sports as a critical step in contesting the perceived inequity of men competing in women’s sports.