Inga Thomson, an American road cycling champion who has represented Team USA at the Olympics three times, has called on professional cyclists to protest the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) policies regarding transgender athletes participating in the sport.
Thompson’s Sunday tweet came a few days after Austin Killips won the Tour of the Gila in the overall category, beating biological females.
Thompson tweeted: “It’s time for Women Cyclists to protest @UCI_cycling policy.” Start kneeling at the start lines. The team managers must speak out and protect their riders. Signs stating “Save Women’s Sports” should be displayed at all races.
It is time for Women Cyclist to start protesting @UCI_cycling Policy. Start taking a knee at the starting lines. Team managers need to speak up and protect their riders. Hold signs at every race “Save Women’s Sports”. https://t.co/BIn3cSKPJm
— Inga Thompson Fdn OLY💚🤍💜 (@ithompsonfdn) May 7, 2023
Thompson won three medals of silver at the UCI Road World Championships in 1987 and one silver at the Pan American Games.
The Guardian reported that the UCI, which is the world’s governing body of sports cycling, had initially defended their participation policy, but seemed to have changed its tone Thursday.
The organization stated that “the UCI’s goal remains the same”: to consider, in the context, our society is evolving, the desire for transgender cyclists to participate in cycling. The UCI is also listening to the concerns of female athletes about equal opportunities for competition and will consider all factors, including the development of scientific knowledge.
Killips was the first transgender woman to win a UCI stage race.
The UCI has tightened up its rules to allow transgender women riders to compete in UCI events against biological females. Reuters reported that the UCI had halved its maximum allowed plasma testosterone level, bringing it down to 2.5 nanomoles/liter. They also doubled their transition period from 12 to 24 months.
In an Instagram post, Killips called the outrage “nonsense”.