Trans Cyclist Takes First Place in US Women’s Race
Austin Killips, 26, a US cyclist who was born male but has since transitioned to female, took first place this past weekend in the female elite division at the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross in Massachusetts.
Killips triumphed with a time of 50:25, one second clear of fellow racer Ava Holmgren. Lizzy Gunwales came in third position with a time of 50:31 in the event, which features a mix of on- and off-road cycling as well as various obstacles and technical challenges.
This comes months after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) amended its regulations for transgender athletes to require applicants to display reduced levels of testosterone for a period of 24 months, 12 months more than the previous guidelines requested.
The UCI also lowered the permissible amount of plasma testosterone level in its transgender athletes, which they say brings it in line with the “maximum testosterone level found in 99.99 percent of the female population.
Online records suggest that Killips has come in first position in 17 of 57 races in which she was eligible. She has also placed in the top half in 47 races across the last three years.
It has previously been suggested that Killips’ success is due to her analytical approach to the sport rather than any perceived physical advantages.
“I approach the sport scientifically. I am a student of the sport,” Killips said.
“You need to have an affinity and passion for it to be spending so much time watching races and analyzing. Observation is a huge part of getting better. There are many resources like the course previews and years of coverage of racing.”