(LifeSite) A top female professional bicycle racer who has racked up 35 wins on the national cyclocross circuit over the course of her career said she’s leaving the sport after finishing in fourth place behind a man who claims to be a woman.
U.S. cyclocross champ Hannah Arensman made the announcement in an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the judges to vacate a lower court’s preliminary injunction against a West Virginia law banning student athletes from competing on teams designated for the opposite sex.
“I have decided to end my cycling career,” Arensman wrote in the filing. “At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category, I came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th place.”
Arensman’s final race was the Hannah Arensman in Connecticut held in December. The female champ finished in fourth place, with two women snagging first and second place and trans-identifying male cyclist Austin Killips taking third prize. Killips previously took first place in the international cyclocross tournament in Massachusetts held in November.
In her brief, Arensman said she “was born into a family of athletes” and was “[e]ncouraged by my parents and siblings” to play sports and ultimately “become an elite cyclocross racer.”
“Over the past few years, I have had to race directly with male cyclists in women’s events,” she said, going on to point out that her intensive training is increasingly proving ineffective thanks to being forced to compete against men.
“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,” Arensman said.
An additional critique of USA Cycling’s decision to hand the third-prize award to the male rider in December is that, in addition to being a man, Killips also appeared to have engaged in inappropriate physical efforts to block Arensman from passing him.
Footage captured of the event shows one instance in which Killips apparently rams his bicycle toward Arensman as she moves to overtake him. A USA Cycling spokesman saidat the time the national governing body was looking into the incident but wasn’t taking any action against Killips. For his part, Killips blamed the muddy conditions and argued that claims concerning his alleged misconduct were “ridiculous.”
However, Arensman referred in her brief to “several physical interactions with him throughout the race,” and said that her “sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me.”