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

Cyclocross
(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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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.