Female riders 'threatened boycott' if trans cyclist Emily Bridges was allowed to race

30 March 2022, 21:39 | Updated: 31 March 2022, 10:34

Emily Bridges had competed in men's events but would have been allowed in women's races under British guidelines
Emily Bridges had competed in men's events but would have been allowed in women's races under British guidelines. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges has been blocked from competing in an upcoming women's cycling championship as claims emerged there was talk of a boycott by female riders.

British Cycling would have allowed Emily to participate under its guidelines, but the Union Cycliste Internationale [UCI] told British Cycling she could not be involved in Saturday's British National Omnium Championships in Derby.

According to the Guardian, a number of female riders had talked about boycotting the event because they felt Bridges, who was on the Great Britain Academy programme as a male rider until being dropped in 2020, had an unfair advantage over them.

"We have been in close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily's participation this weekend and have also engaged closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and involvement in elite competitions," British Cycling said in a statement.

Read more: Team GB stars face losing Olympics place as trans cyclist begins racing in female events

Read more: Florida governor rejects Lia Thomas swim victory and hands win to runner-up

"We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily's participation, however we fully recognise her disappointment with today's decision.

"Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete – it is a challenge for all elite sports.

Two trans men share their advice to MP Jamie Wallis

"We believe all participants within our sport deserve more clarity and understanding around participation in elite competitions and we will continue to work with the UCI on both Emily's case and the wider situation with regards to this issue."

Former Olympic swimming medallist Sharron Davies described the statement from British Cycling as “a blatant fudge”.

She posted online: "It’s not transphobic to want fair sport, it’s anti female to not!"

Ms Bridges, 21, was set to appear at the championships along with cycling stars like Dame Laura Kenny, the five-time Olympic champion.

Read more: Welsh Tory comes out as first trans MP after revealing rape and £50,000 blackmail plot

Ms Bridges, who won the men's points race at the British Universities championships in February, started hormone therapy last year.

British Cycling's new regulations say competing cyclists must have had testosterone levels below five nanomoles a litre for 12 months before an event.

Previously, Ms Bridges told Cycling Weekly: "After starting hormone therapy I didn't want to race in the male category any more than I had to – obviously, it sucks, getting dropped, racing as a man when you're not one."

Its decision to allow Ms Bridges to take part caused controversy.

It followed fallout from Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer whose recent victory in a women's race in the US sparked outrage in some quarters, with politicians wading in and some athletes raising worries about physical differences between competitors' bodies.

Others have defended the decision to allow transgender competitors in the gender events they identify with.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Festival-goers endure heavy rain at the Hay Festival in Hay on Wye in Wales over the weekend

UK set for '50 days of rain' in one of the wettest summers in over a hundred years

Eamonn Holmes has broken his silence on his split from wife Ruth Langsford - but is still wearing his wedding ring.

Eamonn Holmes breaks silence on divorce from Ruth Langsford as battle rages over custody of couple’s beloved dog Maggie

Mel Stride has told LBC parents won't face sanctions if their children do not enrol in national service.

Parents ‘won’t face sanctions’ if their children refuse National Service, Mel Stride tells LBC

The wreckage of the doomed OceanGate Titan sub after the disaster that killed everyone on board

Billionaire plans new trips to Titanic wreck to prove dives are safe after OceanGate disaster

Virgin Australia aircraft

Australian police arrest man who allegedly ran naked through plane

LIVE: Rishi Sunak hits the campaign trail as Nigel Farage tells LBC 'the election is over, Labour has won'

LIVE: Rishi Sunak hits the campaign trail as Nigel Farage tells LBC 'the election is over, Labour has won'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

EU tries to secure deal on military aid for Ukraine as Zelensky continues tour

Business owners in Brixham have urged South west water to help re-market the area after the cryptosporidium outbreak.

Brixham businesses urge South West Water to help revive tourism after parasite outbreak causes huge drop in visitors

Horrifying moment thieves take off with high-value watches and hold down dealer during raid on London jewellers

Watch dealer found dead 24 hours after thieves take off with high-value timepieces during raid on London jewellers

Tributes have been paid to women’s football coach Amie Gray. Police have released CCTV of a suspect

Tributes paid to ‘beautiful mother and wife’, Amie Gray 34, killed at beach as hunt for murderer enters fifth day

Storm damage in Pryor, Oklahoma

22 dead as powerful storms leave trail of destruction across several US states

Thousands of users have reported issues with the bank's app and website.

Thousands of NatWest customers unable to access banking app or website amid tech outage

Yellow-jacketed security rent-a-cops turn London's public spaces into hostile occupied zones

I can't be the only one fed up with battalions of yellow-jacketed security guards at every single public event

Papua New Guinea Landslide

Officials fear disease and disaster for Papua New Guinea after landslide

Pope Francis is alleged to have said an offensive slur for gay people during a behind closed-doors meeting.

Pope Francis ‘used homophobic slur’ during closed-door meeting about training gay priests

India Cyclone

Storms flood villages and trigger power cuts to millions in Bangladesh and India