Transgender cyclists take gold and silver at women’s race


Two transgender cyclists have once again snagged first and second place at a major women’s competition — with some calling their victories “outrageous” and an “assault” on the rights of biological female riders.

Tessa Johnson, 25, took first place in the women’s Single Speed category at the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships on Sunday, while Evelyn Williamson, 30, placed second.

The two — who previously sparked outrage when they took the same positions in the Chicago CycloCross Cup in October — were pictured on the podium with Kristin Chalmers, the sole biological female to medal.

Johnson also came third in the women’s half race, winning $100 in prize money, records show.

She previously competed in men’s categories at Clemson University, but it was only after switching to compete as a transgender female that Johnson started picking up wins.

Tessa Johnson, center, took first place while Evelyn Williamson, right, came second. Kristin Chalmers, left, was the only biological female to podium. X / @i_heart__bikes

Williamson, meanwhile, has been racing in the women’s category since at least 2017, earning 18 titles.

But in 2020, she appeared to compete in both the men’s and women’s categories at the Sky Express Winter Criterium, where she won first place as a woman — yet did not place against the men.

Johnson also participated in the Women’s Category half race, placing third and winning $100 in prize money. X / @i_heart__bikes

The pair’s latest victory inflamed critics who believe transgender athletes have an unfair advantage over biological females.

“It’s so outrageous,” Post columnist Piers Morgan wrote on X.

“Why aren’t more women standing up for this assault on their rights?” he asked.

Post columnist Piers Morgan said their victories were “outrageous.”
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova also lashed out.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova blasted the riders as “more mediocre male bodies taking podium places from female athletes.”

Podcaster Megyn Kelly also called their victories “infuriating,” while former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines even offered to compensate any female cyclists who boycott future USA Cycling competitions until they change the rules on transgender athletes.

Johnson had previously competed in men’s categories at Clemson University. X / @i_heart__bikes

“Any woman who concedes and doesn’t compete, I will personally pay them the prize money they’re missing out on,” she vowed. 

“Stop participating in the farce.”

Organizers of the Illinois event did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

However, when the pair took the top two spots in the Chicago race in October, organizers for that race made clear that transgender riders would always be welcome.

Organizers for Chicago Cyclocross say they openly welcome transgender riders. X/@i_heart__bikes

“If you have found your way to a [Chicago Cyclocross Cup] event to race your bike and hopefully have some fun in the process… then you’re welcome here,” they say on the website.

“Discrimination or harassment of any kind on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, sportsball team affiliation, or any other stupid ideas someone comes up with to belittle others will not be tolerated.”

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