‘I Have Felt Humiliated’: Female Cyclists Starting to Speak Out in Outrage as More Men Win Races

Hannah Arensman
Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images

The sport of women’s cycling seems to have been undergoing a concerted assault by transgender competitors, but natural-born female cyclists are finally speaking out in outrage as biological men rack up one win after another in the sport.

Recently, 35-time champion Hannah Arensman announced that she is quitting her sport after watching as one male-born cyclist wins one women’s title after another. Arensman revealed her retirement in a court filing in support of West Virginia’s Save Women’s Sports law, which bars transgender athletes from choosing their own gender categories in the state’s schools.

Now, another female competitive cycler is speaking out and took to Fox News to decry how “discouraging and disheartening” it is that so many trans women are beating women in her sport.

Appearing on Fox & Friends First, cycler Holly Lavesser said she has also thought of quitting the sport after being “forced to compete in unfair competitions.”

Lavesser’s comments came days after a trans cyclist won the women’s category in the Randall’s Island Crit in New York City just last weekend.

“I think it’s very disheartening,” Lavesser added. “As a young woman, you look up to these role models and you think the sky is the limit. You believe that if you put in enough training, if you have the talent, the skill, that you could be the best. But when you’re forced to compete against males that have these physical advantages, it’s just not a reality anymore.”

Lavesser pointed out that women simply can’t compete against men, and if they could they’d have been doing so already for years in races such as the Tour de France. She also said that training for women is far different than for men.

“It’s physical strength, having enough strength to turn the pedal that’s lung capacity, putting yourself out in an effort as hard as you possibly can. And it’s the training that goes into building a base over many, many years,” she said. “You develop skill, and talent in your bike handling ability. Many of the males that enter competitions that require technical skills don’t have these skills built up from years of racing, but rather relied just on pure power and strength to go fast.”

Lavesser also encouraged others to speak out and praised those who have.

“As I’ve seen more and more males entering women’s races, I also have seen people beginning to speak up more and having a bit more courage to come forward with their story and say this is not OK. Women deserve equality, they deserve a protected space to in which to pursue sports.”

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