In a stunning turn of events at the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships, two transgender cyclists have once again secured the top two spots in a major women’s competition, igniting a heated debate over fairness in women’s sports. Tessa Johnson, 25, clinched first place in the women’s Single Speed category, while Evelyn Williamson, 30, claimed second place. Their victories have left some outraged, questioning the rights of biological female riders.

These two cyclists had previously caused a stir when they achieved the same results in the Chicago CycloCross Cup just two months ago. Critics are now deeming their wins as nothing short of “outrageous” and an “assault” on the integrity of women’s sports.

Tessa Johnson, originally competing in men’s categories during her time at Clemson University, only started racking up wins after transitioning to compete as a transgender female. This transformation has raised eyebrows and intensified the ongoing debate surrounding transgender athletes’ participation in women’s sports.

Evelyn Williamson, on the other hand, has been racing in women’s categories since at least 2017 and has secured an impressive 18 titles. However, a notable incident in 2020 saw her competing in both men’s and women’s categories at the Sky Express Winter Criterium. While she emerged victorious among women, she did not fare as well against male competitors.

Criticism of their latest triumphs has been scathing. Piers Morgan, a prominent columnist, described their victories as “outrageous” and questioned why more women aren’t speaking out against what he sees as an infringement on their rights. Martina Navratilova, a tennis legend, didn’t mince words either, referring to the transgender cyclists as “mediocre male bodies taking podium places from female athletes.”

The controversy has spilled over into the world of podcasting, with Megyn Kelly branding their victories as “infuriating.” Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines has even gone so far as to pledge personal compensation to female cyclists who boycott future USA Cycling competitions until the rules regarding transgender athletes are reconsidered. Gaines passionately urged, “Stop participating in the farce.”

Organizers of the Illinois event have yet to respond to the growing controversy, but they are not alone in embracing transgender athletes. The Chicago Cyclocross Cup, where Johnson and Williamson previously dominated, has made it clear that transgender riders will always be welcomed with open arms. Their website explicitly states, “Discrimination or harassment of any kind on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, sports team affiliation, or any other divisive criteria will not be tolerated.”

The dominance of transgender athletes in women’s sports continues to be a divisive issue, with passionate arguments on both sides. As the debate rages on, one thing is certain: the presence of transgender athletes in women’s competitions will remain a topic of intense scrutiny and discussion in the world of sports.