British Trans Cyclist Blocked from Women’s Championship After Female Racers Threatened Boycott

( Breitbart )

A biological male cyclist who now hopes to compete as a female was blocked from a British Championship race after several female competitors threatened a boycott.

Emily Bridges, who originally competed under his birth name of Zach Bridges, was denied entry to the women’s British National Omnium Championship last weekend, the BBC reported.

It would have been Bridges’ first significant race after reportedly transitioning. But the cyclist was deemed “ineligible” to compete by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and British Cycling.

Bridges, 21, told the media that he still doesn’t understand being excluded and added, “I still have little clarity around their finding of my ineligibility under their regulations,” according to Cycling News.

“For the last six months, I have been in contact with British Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale over the eligibility criteria I would need to meet as a transgender woman in order to race in the female category at the British National Omnium Championships this Saturday, 2 April 2022,” Bridges said. “In that time, I have provided both British Cycling and UCI with medical evidence that I meet the eligibility criteria for transgender female cyclists, including that my testosterone level has been far below the limit prescribed by the Regulations for the last 12 months.”

UCI regulations require transgender cyclists to have testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for an entire year before competing in the women’s category.

However, the rules also state that the organization must “protect health and safety” and “guarantee fair and meaningful competition that displays and rewards the fundamental values and meaning of the sport.”

It is, perhaps, those provisions that the organization relied upon to exclude Bridges from the event after several female cyclists openly discussed boycotting the event if Bridges were allowed to compete. Though no one wanted to go public because “they feared voicing their opinions would be interpreted as transphobic,” the BBC wrote.

The cycling organizations also cited Bridges’ registration as a male cyclist, which had not yet lapsed, and insisted that he cannot compete as a female until that registration expires.

The TCA decried the “harassment” aimed at Bridges. The group told Cycling News, “The Cyclists’ Alliance will support and treat Emily Bridges with the kindness, dignity, and respect that she deserves as a person. We do not condone the harassment that Emily has received.”

The group also attacked the UCI, saying, “existing UCI transgender guidelines are insufficient and need to be addressed.”

“We believe that the UCI and British Cycling have demonstrated unfairness by not adhering to their own eligibility criteria set (for those who transition from male to female to compete in the women’s category) and ask for transparent clarification to be given to Emily Bridges on their decision,” the TCA added.

In September, Bridges finished a distance 43rd out of 45 cyclists in the men’s criterium at the Loughborough Cycling Festival and finished second to last during the Welsh National Championship road race. In February, Bridges finally won a men’s points race at the British Universities Championships in Glasgow.

Bridges pleaded to be accepted as a woman in a statement.

“I am an athlete, and I just want to race competitively again, within the Regulations set by British Cycling and UCI after careful consideration of the research around transgender athletes,” Bridges said in a statement. “No one should have to choose between being who they are, and participating in the sport that they love.”

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