Transgender cyclists Evelyn Williamson and Tessa Johnson, both biological males, won gold medals at two separate women’s championships in Illinois.
The pair competed together under the name TS-ESTRODOLLS at the xXx Racing-Athletic Relay Cross in Chicago on August 27 and took first place. They also competed at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome during the state championship four days later, where they once again emerged victorious.
Williamson has been racing in the female category since 2017 and has secured 18 titles. He has also competed in men’s categories, notably failing to rank in the Winter Criterium in March 2020 while winning first place in the women’s category. Johnson, on the other hand, previously competed in the men’s category while at Clemson University. He is still registered under his biological name, Michael.
Biological women losing competitions to their male counterparts is not exclusive to cycling. For example, Lia Thomas, a biological male, won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship in March 2022 against female swimmer Riley Gaines.
In response to these developments, several states have passed laws banning biological males from competing in female categories. Experts argue that male contenders have clear advantages over females. Tommy Lundberg with Sweden’s Karolinska Institute told the Daily Mail, “The most important thing is whether or not you have benefited from male development and male puberty, and if you’ve done that, you’re going to have advantages.”