“This is so unfair”

Men Claim Top Honors at Illinois Women’s Cycling Championship Competitive sports have long been a platform for incredible accomplishments, motivational tales, and occasionally, contentious debates. But the recent Illinois State Cyclocross Championships, which took place on December 3 at Montrose Beach, presented a distinct set of difficulties that have sparked a heated discussion among supporters of women’s rights and sports fans alike. Tessa Johnson and Evelyn Williamson, two transgender men, not only won the Women’s Singlespeed division, but they also raised concerns about the Chicago CycloCross Cup’s inclusiveness guidelines.

The Chicago CycloCross Cup takes pride in creating a pleasant and encouraging culture around competitive cyclocross racing. It is an eight-race series that ended with the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships.
The Cup, which holds competitions for juvenile, female, and mixed athletes, seeks to encourage and push participants to add to the series and strengthen its spirit of competition.

Johnson and Williamson’s dominance in the Women’s Singlespeed category—where they took first and second place, respectively—and the fact that just one biological woman, Kristin Chalmers, made the podium are at the center of the issue. Tessa Johnson also earned a $100 award for finishing third in the Women’s Category 1/2 race.

Social media users’ reactions varied from disappointment to rage, with some accusing the competition of ignoring the issues facing female athletes.
The argument became more heated when a woman who supported women’s rights decided to delete Johnson and Williamson out of the podium picture and replace them with female racer Kristin Chalmers.

Johnson and Williamson have a history of winning the Chicago CycloCross Cup together. Following the pattern seen in the recent championships, the pair won gold and silver in the Women’s Singlespeed in October. Johnson won $150 in prize money for finishing first in the Women’s Category 1/2 race as well.Women’s cycling is a past sport for both Johnson and Williamson, with Williamson winning eighteen national races in a row since 2017.

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