British transgender cyclist barred from women’s National Omnium event

Prior to enrolling in the women’s competition, Bridges was among some of Britain’s fastest male racers, finishing 43rd out of 45 riders at the elite men's criterium at the Loughborough Cycling Festival.

British transgender cyclist barred from women’s National Omnium event
The Times
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Male-to-female transgender cyclist, Emily Bridges, will not be participating in the National Omnium Championships on Saturday, which would have made it Bridges’ first women-only event.

The decision to omit Bridges from participation comes following a ruling by British Cycling, which faced a massive backlash from numerous professional female athletes over the inclusion of transgender riders in the sport.

Had Bridges been allowed to compete, the transgender athlete would have faced off some of the sport's most popular names, including five-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny.

“We have now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that under their current guidelines, Emily is not eligible to participate in this event,” said British Cycling in a statement.

According to the BBC, Bridges began hormone therapy in 2021 as part of a treatment for gender dysphoria and had become eligible to compete in women’s events due to lower testosterone levels.

Prior to enrolling in the women’s competition, Bridges was among some of Britain’s fastest male racers, finishing 43rd out of 45 riders at the elite men's criterium at the Loughborough Cycling Festival. In September, Bridges finished second-to-last at the Welsh National Championship Roadrace.

In February, Bridges won a men’s point race at the British Universities Championship in Glasgow.

“We have been in close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily's participation this weekend and have also engaged closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and involvement in elite competitions,” said British Cycling.

“We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily's participation, however, we fully recognize her disappointment with today's decision,” the organization added. “Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete — it is a challenge for all elite sports.”

Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies slammed British Cycling for initially allowing the transgender athlete to participate in the women’s race, stating that female cyclists had been “thrown under the PC bus” by the organization.

“Time for true female athlete equality of opportunities in cycling,” she wrote on Twitter. “Find better ways of being inclusive (which we all want).”

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