Two transgender cyclists proudly throw their arms onto the podium with apparent joy after conquering the competition in the women’s races of the Chicago CycloCross Cup.
Tessa Johnson, 25, won first place in the Women’s SingleSpeed and Cat Half categories, while Evelyn Williamson, 30, took second in the SingleSpeed at the Oct. 7 competition.
The transgender couple made headlines earlier this year by sweeping the competition at several women’s races, amid a heated debate over the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports.
In the Women’s SingleSpeed race, Johnson took the gold and Williamson the silver, leaving just one biological woman on the podium, Allison Zmuda, who finished third for bronze.
Johnson placed first in the Women’s Cat Half and won $150 in prize money. Williamson placed fourth in that race and received a $75 prize.
Tessa Johnson (center), 25, and Evelyn Williamson (right), 30, place first and second, respectively, in the Women’s SingleSpeed event of the Chicago CycloCross Cup
Johnson (center) placed first in the Women’s Cat Half and won $150 in prize money
The CycloCross Cup took place October 7-8 at Jackson Park in Chicago, Illinois and featured more than a dozen different competitions for men, women and junior athletes.
On their website, the Chicago CrossCup said it welcomes transgender athletes and follows USA Cycling’s Transgender Athlete Participation policy.
“The CCC has always been first and foremost about fostering a positive and supportive community built around competitive cyclocross racing, and that means welcoming and challenging anyone who wants to contribute to and improve the series.”
They noted: “Discrimination or harassment of any kind based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, sports ball team membership, or any other stupid idea that someone comes up with to disparage others . will not be tolerated.’
Williamson and Johnson won the Racing-Athletic Relay Cross in Chicago on August 27 – under the team name ‘TS-ESTRODOLLS’, referring to the female hormone estrogen.
Johnson is pictured racing during the Chicago meet. The Chicago CrossCup said they welcome transgender athletes and that they follow USA Cycling’s Transgender Athlete Participation policy
Williamson is pictured at the Chicago CycloCross Cup. She placed fourth in the Women’s Cat Half and received a $75 prize
Williamson appeared to compete in both the men’s and women’s categories at the Sky Express Winter Criterium in March 2020, where she won first place in the race against women but failed to finish in the men’s 40-cyclist race.
She has been racing in the women’s category since at least 2017 and has won 18 titles.
According to Reduxx, Johnson also has a number of victories in women’s races, having previously competed in the men’s categories while riding for Clemson University.
Williamson has also made headlines for her romantic life after rumors emerged that she was in a ‘throuple’ with fellow transgender cyclist Austin Killips and a third unknown person.
Killips had sparked widespread outrage after appearing to push female cyclocross champion Hannah Arensman during a race in December 2022. She then quit the sport completely after feeling that transgender athletes were ruining the sport.
After being hit by Killips, she said, “I fully expect that in cycling, as a full-body contact sport, you’re going to get hit at some point.
“But when someone over six feet tall meets you, it’s very different. I tried to keep racing and not let it get into my head at all. However, that one instance captured on video felt unnecessary.”
Arensman left the sport completely this year after losing a podium place to the trans rider.
“A man, even if mediocre in the men’s field, is more than capable of breaking records and achieving podium finishes in the women’s races,” she added.
‘This is not a fair sport, and the governing bodies, who should have set the rules to begin with, need to realize that. The people who should protect our sport don’t do that.’
Williamson and Johnson top the podium in August after winning the Illinois women’s championship
Williamson and Johnson (pictured riding together) have achieved significant success in the women’s categories
Williamson (left) reportedly had a ‘throuple’ relationship with Killips (second from left), which caused outrage after she appeared to push female cyclocross champion Hannah Arensman
Users on X, formerly known as Twitter, claim the pair enjoy a biological advantage over their competition.
One user said: ‘What impressive men who can beat women with their testosterone.’
“And a different composition of muscles, bones and ligaments, greater lung capacity… etc,” said another.
“How bad are these men that they have to compete against women?” wrote another.
Nationwide, college and professional athletes are debating how to include transgender competitors in their sports.
Critics argue that trans women who have gone through male puberty are likely to retain a significant biological advantage over biological women, even if they have undergone surgery and are receiving hormone therapy.
Research into the subject continues.
Three captains of the Roanoke College women’s swimming team revealed to DailyMail.com their “demoralizing” struggle to convince trans students not to compete on their team.
The student competed in the men’s competition, took a year off to transfer and joined the women’s team in September.
The group is demanding that colleges across the country provide a “blueprint” for dealing with such scenarios and argued they were being left to their own devices.