Transgender Cyclist Austin Killips Demolishes Women’s Competition En Route To First Place Finish

Public/Screenshot/Twitter — User: RebeccaReza

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Transgender cyclist Austin Killips finished first in the women’s division in the Tour of the Gila competition Friday, according to a press release from the race.

Killips, a biological male and racer on the Amy D. Foundation team, secured an overall victory in the New Mexico bicycling competition, The Telegraph reported Monday. The trans cyclist started the fifth and final stage wearing the leader’s jersey before pulling away from the rest of the competition in the final minutes, according to Cycling News.

“We really wanted to get into a break,” Amy D. Foundation director Julie Kuliecza said in a Gila press release. “We thought that there was going to be something that would go right after the second sprint point, and we wanted a rider in that break so that when Austin and the other GC riders came up to it, Austin would have someone to help them and protect them, and it worked out perfectly.” (RELATED: ‘We Shouldn’t Have To Explain It’: Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Slams Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas)

Killups defeated runner-up Marcela Prieto by 89 seconds, according to Daily Mail.

Tour of the Gila director Michael Engleman said the race will admit all competitors who abide by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) guidelines. The UCI is the governing body for global cycling competitions. Still, Engleman acknowledged “the issue doesn’t stop there.”

“The world has questions, and people would like to talk,” Engleman told self-described cycling journalist Rebecca Reza. “There should be an honest and respectful way for people to speak.”

“How important do you think it is for all of us, on either side, to be able to speak about this openly without both sides being in fear of being retaliated against?” Reza asked Killips after the race, referencing Killips being the first “openly trans woman athlete to win Tour of the Gila.” Reza argued “on both sides, voices are being silenced.”

“I think the world of open and productive dialogue that comes from a place that’s like graceful and sincere is really a positive,” Killips said. “You know, love and caring for others is a positive thing, and I think when the discourse takes place in that context, I certainly appreciate that.”

Reza later alleged she had been blocked by Killips and the Amy D. Foundation on social media.

The Tour of the Gila’s official Twitter account locked replies on its Tweet celebrating Killips’ victory.