A transgender cyclist won first place in a women’s race in New York City amid ongoing debates over the inclusion of trans athletes in women’s competitions.
Tiffany Thomas, 46, who was born a male, finished the Randall’s Island Crit bike race on top of the podium, beating out the competition to snatch first place.
Even though she only started riding a bike in 2018, Tiffany quickly found success and has dominated competitions in the years since. She recently landed a spot on the LA Sweat best cycling team, where her oldest teammate is just 32 years old.
But her frequent victories have drawn the ire of some critics and fellow athletes, who question whether Thomas has an unfair advantage in women’s sports.
Tiffany Thomas, center, took first place at the Randall’s Island Crit bike race in New York City over the weekend.
The 46-year-old has faced criticism from those who argue trans athletes have an unfair advantage in women’s sports.
Taking to Instagram after his latest win, Thomas said “it was a great day to play bike rides with friends.”
“Last run in our LA Sweat 2022 team kit. Not going to lie, sometimes it made me feel like a superhero when I wore it,” he continued in a separate post.
Thomas, who works as a lab director according to her Instagram, describes herself on her LA Sweat Team profile as “a scientist by day, an athlete by night.”
“You will never see anyone with a bigger smile than when they see a beautiful electron microscopy image of a red blood cell,” the biography continues.
“She has never met a bar, a bike or a dog she didn’t like. She is incredibly excited to compete and represent the LA Sweat team this year!’
But despite celebrating her victory on social media, Thomas has been condemned by some online, with a fellow cyclist tweeting her belief that Thomas is ‘cheating’.
“Tiffany’s teammates range in age from 24 to 32. It’s amazing that Tiffany can keep up with them at 46 after starting biking at 40!” they added.
‘Tiffany Thomas has been on countless podiums, going from total beginner to elite level in just 5 years.’
“I feel so bad for the female athletes in America who have trained their entire lives,” said another reviewer.
‘We are destroying women’s rights in America. They could also make all sports in this country co-ed. This is all so unfair. Everyone should live as they want, but there are sacrifices.’
The recent rise of transgender athletes in women’s cycling also led to former champion Hannah Arensman recently leaving the sport after missing out on a podium spot for a trans cyclist.
“In my last race at the recent UCI Cyclo-cross National Championships in the elite women’s category, I came in fourth, flanked on either side by male riders who took third and fifth,” she said in her retirement announcement.
“My sister and family wept to see a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him during the race.”
Thomas, pictured, said racing to victory made her feel ‘like a superhero’, but other athletes have condemned the rise of transgender athletes in women’s cycling.
Champion cyclist Hannah Arensman has announced that she is retiring from professional cycling after she was beaten on the podium by a transgender athlete.
Several states have sought to ban transgender women from competing in women’s sports, citing studies showing they retain an unfair physical advantage even after transitioning.
The issue came into the spotlight when trans swimmer Lia Thomas became the NCAA champion in March 2022. The contentious issue has since spilled over into women’s cycling competitions, with Thomas rising through the ranks after start the sport with only 40 years.
In a 2021 interview, Thomas reveals that she placed fifth in her first event, but insists that she was far from natural when she first competed.
After befriending a fellow runner, the 46-year-old said she was convinced to join the ‘women’s development race’.
“So I signed up and it was amazing,” he added. ‘But I sucked at it.’
After that close podium finish as a rookie, Thomas said her experience immediately led her to thinking, “I really want to do this.”
Thomas also spoke about resistance to her taking part in women’s sports, which she says has been ‘hurtful’.
After finishing second at the Doylestown Health Women’s pro in Pennsylvania in 2021, where she only lost to former Olympian Paola Munoz, Thomas said one of the women who joined her on the podium erased her from the celebration photo.
“The reason this deletion was so painful for me is that people have told me I don’t belong,” he added. “Fortunately, we have a community that has said that this is not okay.”
While proponents of including trans athletes in women’s sports insist that equity can be maintained, opponents say the physical advantage they have over biological women cannot be undone.
Current and former athletes say trans athletes like Lia Thomas (left), the swimmer who enjoyed modest success in the men’s categories before becoming national champion in the women’s events after transition, highlight the physical advantages of women trans
Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender woman to compete in the 2020 Olympics
The issue has become a point of contention after several trans athletes broke women’s records in recent years, including Cece Telfer, who became the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA title when she placed first in the 400 m hurdles at the Division II National Championships. in 2019.
The following year, New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics when she took part in weightlifting at the Tokyo Games.
And after enjoying modest success while competing in the men’s categories, swimmer Lia Thomas gained national attention after becoming the top women’s collegiate swimmer at the NCAA championships in March 2022.
Tommy Lundberg, professor of physiology at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet and a leading researcher on the subject, told DailyMail.com earlier this month: “The most important thing is whether or not you’ve benefited from male development and male puberty and if you have.” that, you’re going to have advantages that you can’t undo later.’
Cece Telfer became the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA title when she placed first in the 400m hurdles at the Division II National Championships in 2019 (pictured)
This view was also shared by Nancy Hogshead, a former professional swimmer who won three gold and one silver medal at the 1984 Olympics, who told DailyMail.com: ‘Trans women have an undeniable physical advantage.
‘Their bodies do what male bodies do when they go through puberty and it’s the reason why we segregate sports so ubiquitously around the world.
Unless we’re talking about just playing, just recreational sports. All competitive sports are segregated by gender.
In particular, trans figure Caitlyn Jenner, who won gold in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympics before becoming one of the world’s best-known trans women, also called Thomas’ success “anathema to what represents sport and the spirit of competition.”