Progressive Women’s Cycling Race Offers Equal Prize to Men’s, But Look Who Crossed the Finish Line First

In the first year that the prize purse from the women’s category in New Mexico’s Tour of Gila bike race was equal to that of the men, the first-place prize went to a man.

Transgender athlete Austin Killips won the race on Sunday, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. As the winner, he was awarded the “Queen of the Mountains” jersey.

On its website back in March, the race had made a major splash about the prize money of $33,350 being available to women racers, the same amount as the men.

“The money is important, but by continuing and even accelerating Tour of the Gila’s tradition of supporting female athletes, this move affirms the value of women’s racing,” Olympian Mara Abbott, Olympian said in the March 16 news release.

“As new racers look to start their careers and more established competitors make the decision to continue each season, this type of support is generous, deserved, and embodies so many of the characteristics I love about the Tour of the Gila and the team that tirelessly works to put the race on every year.”

The elite race is sanctioned by the sport’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, according to the Daily Mail.

The UCI allows men who say they are women to compete if their testosterone levels have been below 2.5 nanomoles per liter for at least 24 months. It was a standard Killips met, according to the Daily Mail.

Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies bemoaned the Killips victory.

“This is beyond disappointing. Those in charge should hang their heads in shame. The UCI is not fit for purpose,” she told the Daily Mail.

Canadian world champion cyclist Alison Sydor lambasted the outcome on Twitter.

In December, after Killips finished third at the USA’s National Cyclocross Championship, Hannah Arensman, a 35-time winner of cyclocross races who finished fourth in the race, retired, saying she could not compete against men.

“Over the past few years, I have had to race directly with male cyclists in women’s events. As this has become more of a reality, it has become increasingly discouraging to train as hard as I do only to have to lose to a man with the unfair advantage of an androgenized body that intrinsically gives him an obvious advantage over me, no matter how hard I train,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.


Killips won by an overall time of 8 seconds over Marcela Prito, which led Joe Kinsey on Outkick to write, “that’s how it goes when you’re racing against a biological male. You have to give 110%. 100% isn’t good enough, Marcela.”

He called the victory by Killips a “gut punch” for Prieto.

“It gets even worse for biological females. The Tour of the Gila race committee bragged in March that for the first time in the 36-year history of the race, men and women would be racing for the same total prize purse of $35,350,” he wrote.

“And then Austin Killips went and took money from the biological women,” he wrote. “What a moment in the history of sports.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.