A 46-year-old man won a New York women’s cycling event on Sunday, just a week after a 35-time winner on the women’s national cyclocross circuit revealed that she had retired after finishing in fourth place between two men in third and fifth places.
Biologist Tiffany Thomas won the Randall’s Island Crit on Saturday; a crit race, or criterium, is a “mass start, multi-lap event contested on a closed course where laps are typically a mile or less and include 4-6 corners,” USA Cycling notes.
“Tiffany is a scientist by day, athlete by night,” states Thomas’ bio for LA Sweat, Thomas’ sponsor. “Her favorite organ [is] the blood cells. You will never see anyone with a bigger smile than when she sees a beautiful electron microscopy picture of a red cell. She has never met a barbell, a bike, or a dog that she doesn’t like. She is so incredibly excited to race and represent the LA Sweat team this year!!!”
The oldest teammate on Thomas’ LA Sweat team is a 32-year-old woman. “Tiffany’s teammates are all between the ages of 24 and 32. Amazing that Tiffany can keep up with them at the age of 46 after only starting cycling at age 40!” one critic snapped.
Another critic added, “Tiffany Thomas has been on countless podiums, going from a total beginner to the elite level in just 5 years.”
“I reached out to USA CRITS, and asked them what’s their position and they weren’t willing to come out and say we support transgender athletes,” Thomas said last year. “Their position was ‘we’ll follow whatever USA cycling says.’ They fell back on that; it got a little weird. But it’s ‘do you think that transgender athletes maybe shouldn’t race (unintelligible)’ and they’re saying that to a transgender athlete. That’s really not okay. At the end of the day, it’s not up to the women’s field to self-police and just shut that out; I think the race promoters have an obligation to be proactive and make sure that it’s not okay.”
Last week, in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court to support the state of West Virginia and its Save Women’s Sports law, cyclist Hannah Arensmen wrote, “Over the past few years, I have had to race directly with male cyclists in women’s events. As this has become more of a reality, 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 have decided to end my cycling career,” Arensman continued. “At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category in December 2022, 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.
“Moving forward, 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,” she concluded.