One of Britain’s most prestigious women’s cycling races is on the verge of being saved 24 hours after its longstanding sponsor pulled out in protest at British Cycling’s suspension of its transgender policy .
The Women’s CiCLE classic in Melton, Leicestershire, which has been won by the Tokyo Olympic medallists Katie Archibald and Neah Evans, had looked to be an unwitting victim of British Cycling’s decision to bar the trans woman cyclist Emily Bridges racing against female riders pending a review.
This move came after numerous members – and voices within the sport – raised concerns that Bridges, who broke the national junior 25-mile record as a male before transitioning, would have an unfair advantage in the female category due to retained strength and other advantages.
However, others, including the main sponsor of the Women’s CiCLE race, Peter Stanton, strongly disagreed. On Tuesday he withdrew his £15,000 sponsorship in protest – leaving the women’s and junior race on the same day in June under threat. The men’s event, later this month, was unaffected.
On Wednesday Sex Matters and Fair Play for Women, two groups campaigning for sex-based rights, made a formal offer to make up the cash shortfall so that all events can take place.
The CiCLE Classics race director, Colin Clews, acknowledged the bid and said that he “had been overwhelmed by messages of support for women’s cycling”. He said: “We will consider all offers of sponsorship to deliver the race in 2022 and support its future development.”
Dr Emma Hilton, a director of […]