the transsexual cyclist Emily Bridgeswhich until now had competed in men’s events, will premiere in the female category at the British Omnium Championships in Derby this weekend, where she will take on the likes of five-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny.
Bridges, 21, who won the men’s points race at the British Universities Championships in Glasgow last February, began hormone therapy last year to lower his testosterone levels and is now eligible to compete in women’s events.
British Cycling Federation regulations, which were updated in January this year, require cyclists to have had testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for a period of 12 months before the competition.
Bridges previously set a junior men’s national record over 25 miles and was selected to join British Cycling’s senior academy in 2019.
British Cycling said the update to its policy on transgender athletes was issued after “wide consultation”. “We believe that the updated policy reflects the current evidence. However, we recognize that more research is required in this area,” explained a spokesman for the federation. “For this reason, we have committed to reviewing our policy annually, or more frequently as changing circumstances dictate, and we encourage people to share their thoughts or comments with us,” he concluded.
The Bridges case puts back on the table the debate on the participation of trans women in women’s competitionswhich for many puts women’s sport and the achievements achieved at a social level in recent years at risk, as several of the American trans swimmer’s rivals have already stated. Lia Thomaswhich comes from sweeping the championships of Division I of the NCAA, the university league in the United States.