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A biological male won the women’s elite division of a cycling race in Massachusetts on Saturday.
Austin Killips, who identifies as a transgender woman, won the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross held in Northampton.
— 🚲 (@i_heart__bikes) November 12, 2022
“The Northampton International organization firmly believes that all attendees should have an equal opportunity to participate in our event regardless of their race, color, religion, disability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin,” the event’s inclusion policy states.
“We recognize that participation in sport is a human right. We strive to create an enjoyable event for those currently active in cyclocross in all the different ways they participate, and an inviting one for those who have not joined us yet,” it added, stating that the association is following the rules for inclusion outlined by USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale.
— The Northampton International Cyclocross (@NohoCX) November 13, 2022
The wins were not the first by Killips this year. The cyclocross competitor has also kept biological women off the podium in other women’s races, including a third-place finish at the Women’s Elite Cyclocross in Rochester, New York, in September, along with two wins in other events in Massachusetts.
🚲 Cyclist Austin Killips, a trans identifying male started the Cyclocross season strong with a pair of wins in both Holyoke and Beverly, MA
Lillianna O'Donnell and Greta Kilburn were both left off the podiums in 4th place pic.twitter.com/WMTERRX5Ju
— ICONS Women (@icons_women) September 25, 2022
Killips made headlines in 2019 as a cyclocross racer, later becoming the first biological male to race in the sport’s World Cup in the women’s field. In an interview on the topic, Killips called the achievement significant.
“I haven’t pored over records, but I think I’m the first trans woman to race a World Cup in the Women’s field. I know Molly [Cameron] has raced, but she’s always raced the Men’s category,” Killips said. “I do think it’s significant and notable. You know, when I’m at bike races and have other queer and trans folks come up to me, it’s super meaningful, and I guess I’m very aware you can’t just separate the two out. When I’m training and racing, I’m just a bike racer. I’m out here competing with these people.”
Biological males competing in women’s sports have been garnering outrage across the country. University of Pennsylvania’s transgender swimmer Lia Thomas dominated the women’s 500-yard freestyle event in March and was nominated for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Thomas, 22, competed on the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania before identifying a woman in 2019 and taking testosterone blockers and estrogen.
Several Republican-led states have passed bans on biological males competing in girls’ and women’s sports.
In February, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill that banned the practice in her state, including provisions for college athletics.
“It is in playing sports that a young girl can learn how to achieve and how to succeed. But some in our society want to take those opportunities to succeed away from our young women. Some schools and organizations across the country have sought to take away their freedom to achieve by changing the rules of the games,” she said in a statement.
A total of 18 states have passed laws banning transgender students from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.