On Saturday, a transgender cyclist who said she felt like a “superhero” won a women’s race in New York. Just days prior, a champion cyclist quit the sport after losing to another transgender competitor.
Tiffany Thomas, a 47-year-old trans cyclist, won the Randall’s Island Crit, marking at least her 20th win since she began racing in 2018.
In a social media post, Thomas posted photos of herself from the race, saying that she felt like a “superhero” wearing the bright orange jersey of her sponsor, LA Sweat.
Thomas quickly received a lot of backlash from other cyclists, one of whom pointed out that the trans competitor has gone “from a total beginner to the elite level in just five years.”
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“Tiffany’s teammates are all between the ages of 24 and 32. Amazing that Tiffany can keep up with the at the age of 46 after only starting cycling at age 40!” she sarcastically said.
A Twitter account called ‘ICONS Women’ posted a photo of Thomas’ win, prompting a lot of backlash from critics who questioned how this was fair to the biologically female competitors.
One commenter wrote, “I’m all for people being who they are but it is hard to understand how this is fair?”
Replying to this comment, another Twitter user wrote, “It’s not. And all the men masquerading as women know it. Men who finally have a way to ‘beat’ women are jumping at the opportunity. From MMA fighting to swimming to cycling…”
It's not. And all the men masquerading as women know it. Men who finally have a way to "beat" women are jumping at the opportunity. From MMA fighting to swimming to cycling…#wagspinkyfinger
— 45 Cal Vet (@45calVet) March 23, 2023
Other critics called for female competitors to protest trans competitors and stand up for their rights as women.
That’s exactly what female cyclist champion Hannah Arensman did just a few days prior to Thomas’ win.
Arensman is a 35-time winner on the national cyclocross circuit, but has decided to retire after finishing in fourth place between two transgender competitors.
“I have decided to end my cycling career,” Arensman wrote in an emotional statement. “At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category, I came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th places. My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race.”
“Additionally, it is difficult for me to think about the very real possibility I was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor,” continued Arensman.
She added that it “has become increasingly discouraging to train as hard as I do only to have to lose to a man with the unfair advantage of an androgenized body that intrinsically gives him an obvious advantage over me, no matter how hard I train.”
“I feel for young girls learning to compete and who are growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair chance at being the new record holders and champions in cycling,” Arensman said. “I have felt deeply angered, disappointed, overlooked, and humiliated that the rule makers of women’s sports do not feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women anymore.”
Ignoring all the women who are reasonably upset by transgender competitors easily taking wins away from biological females, Thomas decided to make herself the victim and posted on social media about being “harassed” by critics after her “fair” win.
Thomas claimed that the stories being published about her beating female competitors are intended to “intimidate and harass transgender athletes to make our lives as miserable as possible so that we leave the sport.”
Thomas insists that the two women who finished below her in the race are her best friends who are “just as strong.”
“They will assuredly beat me at future races,” Thomas wrote.