USA: Trans-Identified Male Cycling Duo Takes First Place In Women’s Category At TWO Cycling Championships In Illinois

Two trans-identified males took first place at two separate championships in Illinois last week while competing in the women’s categories. During one of the competitions, Evelyn Williamson and Tessa Johnson competed under the team name “TS-ESTRODOLLS.”

Johnson and Williamson celebrated their initial first place win on August 27 after their victory at the xXx Racing-Athletic Relay Cross in Chicago. During the race, they competed under the team name “TS-ESTRODOLLS,” an apparent nod to the female hormone estrogen. The two men surpassed nine other pairs of women for first place.

Just days later on August 31, Johnson and Williamson beat out two other teams of women at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome during the State Championship in Madison. The race was held by the Northbrook Cycle Committee, a tax-exempt charitable group and member of the American Track Racing Association.

Evelyn Williamson, 29, has been racing in women’s categories for several years, taking 18 first place titles in races across the country since 2017. 

In March 2020, however, Williamson appears to have competed in both women’s and men’s categories at the Sky Express Winter Criterium. In the Women’s Pro category, he placed first out of 13 racers. In the Men’s category, he did not place at all in a race comprised of 40 men. 

His teammate, Tessa Johnson, formerly Michael Johnson, also has previous first place wins in women’s categories. 

Williamson and Johnson’s victory was first reported by X (formerly Twitter) user @i_heart_bikes, a female bike racer who frequently posts updates on the trans-identified males participation in women’s sport. She guided followers to use Johnson’s male name, Michael, to access his results for the 2022 season. 

While competing as a male, Johnson is logged as having competed for Clemson University since 2017 in Open and Men’s categories. He won three first place races in Men’s categories before beginning to compete in Women’s categories in 2022. He won eight first place titles in 2022 in his first year competing amongst women cyclers, sometimes part of Clemson University’s team and others for Comrade Cycles Racing. 

Since changing his gender identity, Johnson has a new profile on CrossResults under his “female” name which only lists his recent win with Williamson in the Women’s Open race in Illinois last week. 

In February of last year, reported that Pratt Racing had previously put together a team for Pennsylvania’s Elite Track Cycling Nationals, which featured both Evelyn Williamson and another trans-identified male cyclist, Austin Killips.

Williamson and Killips were reportedly romantically involved, along with a third person, in a “polyamorous” relationship as they celebrated their silver medal in the event. 

The two began communicating on social media in March 2020 when Williamson still lived in Oakland, California. Williamson told Bicycling, “So I came to Chicago and was just very happy—I got along with everyone, and it just kind of worked out… There was no expectation that we would all date together. But it just so happened that that worked out really well for all of us.”

They “shared a loved for cycling” and bonded over “how to navigate a career in the sport as transgender athletes.” 

In July, WowAlly, a reading platform that purports to host real-life stories on “research-oriented facts,” also reported on the two’s relationship, an apparently popular love story in the cycling world.

WowAlly noted that Killips and Williamson “were the only two transgender racers on their team at the women’s elite national track championship,” and “to everyone’s suprise,” won the Elite Track Cycling Nationals at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Pennsylvania. 

Killips has similarly taken several first place wins in female categories and has forced at least one woman out of the sport after targeted physical aggression.

As previously reported by Reduxx, Killips was accused of attempting to push female cyclist Hannah Arensman off the racing course at the UCI Cyclocross National Championships in December of 2022. 

Arensman, who was a 35-time winner in cyclocross racing, retired from the sport shortly after the controversy surrounding Killips appearing to push her off of the track during a women’s competition. Arensman shared that she felt as though racing directly against male cyclists in women’s events had become so discouraging that she decided to end her cycling career. 

In June, Killips was subject to international backlash after taking first place in the women’s category of the Belgian Waffle Ride in North Carolina. When nearing the finish line, Killips had a 5-minute lead on his female competitors.

In the month following his victory, the Belgian Waffle Ride banned male athletes from competing in the women’s category, and created a third open category for athletes of any sex or gender identity.

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Yuliah Alma

Yuliah is a former researcher and journalist at Reduxx. She lives on the American east coast, and is an avid reader and book collector.

Yuliah Alma
Yuliah Alma
Yuliah is a former researcher and journalist at Reduxx. She lives on the American east coast, and is an avid reader and book collector.