Women’s Cyclocross champion Hannah Arensman has announced her retirement from the sport after coming in fourth place behind a male rider in the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category.
“I have decided to end my cycling career. 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,” said Arensman in an amicus brief filed to the Supreme Court in support of West Virginia's Save Women's Sports law.
“My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race,” she added.
The race in question took place last December, and a video clip was shared on social media of trans-identified male Austin Killips, who came in third place, knocking Arensman off the podium, appearing to shoulder-barge Arensman on the race track.
“Forget the fact that AK is a biological male. He/She should have been DQ for this move which was only one of at least 3 attempts to put Arnesman into the tape. I was standing right there when one of the others happened. You can do better,” tweeted a spectator who witness the event.
“Trans identifying males, Austin Killips (seen here in white ramming competitor) & Jenna Lingwood finish 3rd & 5th at yesterdays @usacycling Cyclocross Elite Women’s National Championships,” tweeted the Independent Council on Women’s Sports.
Arensman explained in her brief that she was born into a family of athletes and competed in sports from a young age, and “climbed the ranks to become an elite cyclocross racer.”
“Over the past few years, I have had to race directly with male cyclists in women’s events,” she continued. “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 an unfair advantage of an androgenized body that intrinsically gives him an obvious advantage over me, no matter how hard I train.”
She added that it was very difficult to think about the possibility that she was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February because of a male competitor.
“Moving forward, I feel for young girls learning to compete and who are growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair chance at being the new record,” Arensman concluded.
Killips recently responded to an announcement by USA Cycling regarding a new event to be held later this year with a $60,000 prize purse, to be split equally between the male and female categories, with a tweet that said “Huge news for the state of my finances.”
“Hannah Arensman, who was deliberately shoved by male Killips in the women’s race at US nationals recently, has quit cycling. NO MALES IN WOMEN’S SPORTS!!!” tweeted former elite Marathon runner Mara Yamauchi.
UCI was reached for comment.
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