By John Ensor • 23 March 2023 • 14:04
Transgender cyclist criticised over unfair advantage. Stefan Schurr/Shutterstock
Despite only taking up cycling in 2018, Tiffany Thomas, 46, who was born male, smashed the opposition to claim first place. She recently landed a place on top cycling team LA Sweat, where her oldest teammate is just 32.
Talking of her latest triumph, Thomas said on Instagram it ‘was a great day to play bikes with friends’.
However, her frequent victories have angered critics and fellow athletes. One fellow female cyclist tweeted her belief that Thomas is ‘cheating’.
‘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!’ Tiffany Thomas has been on countless podiums, going from a total beginner to the elite level in just 5 years.’
Another critic said, ‘I feel so bad for woman athletes in America that have trained their entire lives. . . we are destroying woman’s rights in America.’
The recent rise in transgender athletes in women’s cycling led former champion Hannah Arensman to quit, she commented, ‘At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category, I came in fourth, flanked on either side by male riders awarded third and fifth. My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me.’
Tommy Lundberg, of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute a leading researcher on the subject, said, ‘The most important thing is whether or not you have benefited from male development and male puberty and if you’ve done that, you’re going to have advantages you cannot undo later.’
Trans figurehead Caitlyn Jenner, who won gold in the male decathlon at the 1976 Olympics before becoming one of the world’s best-known trans women, has also called Thomas’s success ‘anathema to what sports represents and the spirit of competition.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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