To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now

Emily Bridges accuses British Cycling of “violent act” after organisation bans trans women from racing in female competition

Chris Byfield

| Last updated 

Emily Bridges accuses British Cycling of “violent act” after organisation bans trans women from racing in female competition

Trans cyclist Emily Bridges hit out at British Cycling after they ruled to ban transgender women from racing in female competitions.

On Friday British Cycling opted to change their current men's category to an 'open' category, to allow transgender women to compete against other male-born riders.

However, the female category will be reserved for those whose sex was assigned female at birth. The organisation came to the decision to “safeguard the fairness of competition”.

The new policy, which will come into force in full by the end of the year, relates to all competitive activity - any race or event involving timing, ranking or prizes.


Transgender women will still be allowed to ride in the female category of non-competitive cycling settings, such as the Breeze community programme, according to the new rules.

Indeed, the regulation change may put pressure on the sport's international federation, the UCI, to change their own rules.

Emily Bridges hits out at British Cycling

The national governing body's new policy had ended trans rider Bridges' dream of competing for Great Britain or Wales in women's races.


And the 22-year-old has now criticised the national body as a "failed organisation" that committed a "violent act".

Bridges, who set a national junior men's record over 25 miles in 2018, came out as a transgender woman in October 2020 and began hormone therapy last year to reduce her testosterone levels.


In an Instagram post, Bridges claimed: "Does it surprise me that the same organisation funded directly by a state that ships vulnerable refugees to Rwanda, violently clamps down on any political dissent that they disapprove of, or starves their people? No, of course, it doesn't.


"The same organisation with actively homophobic coaches, who encouraged eating disorders and did nothing about any bullying between its riders.

"You don't care about making sport more diverse, you want to make yourself look better and you're even failing at that. Cycling is still one of the whitest, straightest sports out there, and you couldn't care less.

"Bans from sport is how it starts, look at what is going on in America. It starts with sports bans, then youth and general healthcare and then bans from public life through bathroom bans.


"Just look at the situation, and who is on your side. When literal Nazis, conspiracy theorists and those who want our eradication are on your side, surely that should give you pause?"

Bridges added that she was "having to consider an exit plan from this terrible island and figure out what point enough is enough".

British Cycling chief executive Jon Dutton said: "Our new policies are the product of a robust nine-month review process, which we know will have a very real-world impact for our community both now and in the future.

"I am confident that we have developed policies that both safeguard the fairness of cyclesport competition, whilst ensuring all riders have opportunities to participate."


Dutton, who only began his role last month, added: "I am sorry that it's taken so long to get to this point. We appreciate this has been an incredibly difficult period. It has caused anxiety, uncertainty and distress for many riders and we have a duty of care to support those people.

"But today is about leadership and giving that absolute clarity and direction to remove that uncertainty, however difficult that may be. On the competitive policy, fairness is absolutely the driving factor."

Featured Image Credit: Emily Bridges via Instagram (emilybridges45_)

Topics: Cycling

Chris Byfield
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You


Castore and Aston Villa ‘expected to agree to an early termination’ after complaints over ‘wet-look’ shirts

an hour ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Fact or Fiction: Five of the biggest footballing myths

5 hours ago