Team UK cycling stars risk losing Olympic spots to trans woman

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Team UK cycling stars are at risk of losing their Olympic spot after a 21-year-old trans woman announced she would now compete in women’s events

  • Emily Bridges has continued to race against men for the past year while on hormone therapy
  • His successes include a gold medal at the recent University Championships in Nottingham
  • Her testosterone levels are now low enough to meet the criteria set by British Cycling, the sport’s governing body, for her to compete against women.

The best female cyclists who have helped Britain achieve historic triumphs are at risk of losing their place in the team after a trans woman announced she will now be racing in women’s events.

Emily Bridges has continued to race against men over the past year while on hormone therapy, and her successes include a gold medal at the recent University Championships in Nottingham.

However, her testosterone levels are now low enough to meet the criteria set by British Cycling, the sport’s governing body, for her to compete against women.

Critics claim that despite the hormone treatment, Ms Bridges will still have an unfair advantage over her female rivals.

The best female cyclists who have helped Britain achieve historic triumphs are at risk of losing their place in the team after a trans woman announced she will now be racing in women’s events. Emily Bridges (above) has continued to race against men over the past year while on hormone therapy, and her successes include a gold medal at the recent University Championships in Nottingham

Past life: Emily competing in 2018 before her transition to a woman

Past life: Emily competing in 2018 before her transition to a woman

Before becoming trans, Ms Bridges set the junior men’s national record for 25 miles in 2018 with a time of just over 47 minutes – two minutes faster than the current national record for adult women.

The 21-year-old recently spoke candidly about her transition and revealed it was “always the plan” to compete in women’s events.

“After I started hormone therapy, I didn’t want to race in the men’s category any more than I had to,” she told Cycling Weekly magazine.

Team Britain’s female cyclists, including Laura Kenny, the country’s most successful Olympian, have enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years, including five gold medals at the last three Games.

While Ms Bridges told Cycling Weekly that a drop in her endurance levels since taking the hormones has set her back in men’s endurance events, she won bronze in the team pursuit last month at the Nottingham University Championships and an individual gold medal for the men. points race.

The bronze medal time set by Ms Bridges and her teammates was just ten seconds off the 4m 10s that earned Katie Archibald, Dame Laura, Neah Evans and Josie Knight a silver medal at the 2020 Olympics.

Critics have drawn comparisons to Lia Thomas (above), an American trans swimmer who recently beat <a class=Olympic silver medalist Emma Wayent in a women’s 500-yard freestyle sprint in Atlanta.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Critics have drawn comparisons to Lia Thomas (above), an American trans swimmer who recently beat Olympic silver medalist Emma Wayent in a women’s 500-yard freestyle sprint in Atlanta.

The team pursuit – which sees groups of four riders go head-to-head – is the showpiece event of British women’s cycling, and Ms Bridges could now challenge for a place on the national team.

Critics have drawn comparisons to Lia Thomas, an American trans swimmer who recently beat Olympic silver medalist Emma Wayent in a women’s 500-meter freestyle race in Atlanta.

Ms Thomas was ranked 554th in the world as a male before making the switch two years ago.

British Cycling said its rules for trans inclusion were drawn up after wide consultation.

A spokesperson added: “We believe the updated policy reflects the current evidence available to us.” However, we recognize that more research in this area is needed.

Ms Bridges could not be reached by The Mail on Sunday but told Cycling Weekly that although she was ‘nervous’ about a backlash she believed ‘people are free to express their opinions , provided they do so within the law”.

Team Britain's female cyclists, including Laura Kenny (above), the country's most successful Olympian, have enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years, including five gold medals at the last three Games.

Team Britain’s female cyclists, including Laura Kenny (above), the country’s most successful Olympian, have enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years, including five gold medals at the last three Games.

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