Mandy Bishop concerned that women cyclists are not being listened to in the transgender riders row

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British cycling icon Mandy Bishop claims women riders aren’t being listened to in the transgender row… as she insists trans athletes should NOT be allowed to compete against biological women

  • Mandy Bishop is a former world champion cyclist for Great Britain
  • She is concerned that women are being ignored in the transgender row
  • Bishop has admitted that trans cyclist Emily Bridges hasn’t done anything wrong
  • However, she feels Bridges should not be permitted to race biological women 

British cycling legend Mandy Bishop says women riders are being ignored in the dispute over transgender riders.

Former world champion Bishop also believes the best cyclists are afraid to speak up on the issue out of fear of the impact it would have on their careers.

Bishop is the second prominent British cyclist to lend her voice to the row after Olympic champion Nicole Cooke called for a separate category for trans athletes in a Mail on Sunday column.

Olympic gold medalist Nicole Cooke feels trans athletes should compete separately to women

Olympic gold medalist Nicole Cooke feels trans athletes should compete separately to women

‘British Cycling is the governing body for all its members but it does not seem to be concerned with protecting female cyclists,’ said Bishop, won the 1982 world road race title under her maiden name Jones.

‘The women I used to race against now have daughters competing – at every level up to international. I speak to their mums and I know they’re upset with this situation.

‘They’re meant to be focused on training. They’re trying to prepare for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. They’re part of an Olympic programme and they’re afraid to speak out because of the impact it may have on their careers.

‘I heard that they were considering a boycott and I was not surprised. That might be the best solution: for them to help each other and stand together to call for something to be done.’

British trans cyclist Emily Bridges was due to compete against Olympic champion Laura Kenny at the weekend only for cycling’s ruling body to prevent Bridges from taking part three days beforehand.

Trans cyclist Emily Bridges was blocked from racing against Laura Kenny (above) this weekend

Trans cyclist Emily Bridges was blocked from racing against Laura Kenny (above) this weekend

However, barring another intervention from the UCI, it is understood that Bridges will be eligible to take on the best biological female cyclists once her male racing licence expires.

Bishop, one of only four British women to win the world road race title, said: ‘Emily said she had been in dialogue with British Cycling and the UCI for the past six months. But, as far as I’m aware, no one has consulted the women who are racing at the moment.’

Bishop sympathised with Bridges, who has reported being abused online, but said it was unfair that she should be allowed to compete against biological women.

‘Emily has done nothing wrong,’ she said. ‘I am sorry that she has got so much flak just for competing and following the rules – it is the rules that are unfair.

Bishop says she has sympathy for Bridges, but doesn't think she should race biological women

Bishop says she has sympathy for Bridges, but doesn’t think she should race biological women

‘This controversy needed to happen to open up the conversation. You simply cannot choose to compete against women if you were born male.

‘There are benefits of male puberty that are irreversible. It makes you bigger and stronger and gives you a greater lung capacity. And the hormonal treatment required by the rules can only mitigate against this up to a point.’

Bishop added: It took women a long time to get into major events. They had to fight to get into the Olympics. They had to fight to get into the World Championships. They had to fight just to compete as women and now they’re having to compete against biological men.’

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