USA Cycling criticised for failing to condemn anti-trans protest at US National Cyclocross Championships

Anti-trans protestors displayed messages at the US National Cyclocross Championships

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Anti-trans protestors were present at the US National Cyclocross Championships in Illinois at the weekend, holding signs up at the course in opposition to the participation of transgender athletes in women's sport. 

CyclingTips (opens in new tab) reported that the protestors, part of a group called "Save Women's Sport", were displaying messages such as “Say no to males competing as females” and “woman = adult human female" on signs at the event.

According to its Twitter profile, the group claims to be “a coalition that seeks to preserve biology-based eligibility standards for participation in female sports.” 

The incident comes just a month before Fayetteville in Arkansas is set to host the UCI World Cyclocross Championships on January 29-30, and has caused a social media furore against the anti-trans group.

USA Cycling also faces a barrage of criticism for failing to condemn the protestors; Mountain Bike Coordinator for the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Flyyn Leonard has penned an open letter (opens in new tab) to the organisation demanding action. 

It read: “Myself and others are less safe at sanctioned events due to your continued refusal to act upon repeated instances of the Save Women’s Sport hate group participating and fundraising on the backs of USA Cycling events, as well as continued instances of transphobic behaviour online by athletes, promoters, and even officials.

“USA Cycling has now allowed this hate group to harass, make others uncomfortable, and attempt to gain support for their mission of exclusion at two separate nationals – first at Marathon Nationals, and now at Cyclocross Nationals.”

The letter also called for the resignation of the organisation's president, Rob DeMartini, who has since announced he will leave his role to become CEO at a company outside of cycling - though there is no indication the departure is related.

USA Cycling still hasn't recognised the presence of the anti-trans group publicly, either on social media or with a statement.

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Hi, I'm a Trainee News Writer at Cycling Weekly. 

I have worked for Future across its various sports titles since December 2020, writing news for Cycling Weekly, FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture. I am currently studying for a NCTJ qualification alongside my role as Trainee News Writer at the company. 

Prior to joining Future I attended Cardiff University, earning a degree in Journalism & Communications.