Questions raised in Dutch women's peloton

Women's cycling in the Netherlands has been turned on its head after the newspaper Eindhovens...

Women's cycling in the Netherlands has been turned on its head after the newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad revealed that a female cyclist was in fact born as a man 32 years ago. The rider debuted this year in the women's field and immediately the rumour mills began questioning her sexuality as a result of her performance and visual characteristics.

After a few podium places and a win in a regional race, a fellow cyclist questioned the rider on the topic, which lead to the paper running the story. The Dutch cyclist has refused to comment on the matter, but a spokesperson from her club spoke with the paper. "If there are people who have a problem with [the rider's] trans-sexuality then they should take it up with the cycle federation," the source said. "She received a valid licence from them."

The Dutch cycling federation, KNWU, doesn't see a problem with the situation. "[The rider] under went a medical examination and her passport states that she is a women," a KNWU spokesperson told the paper. "We understand that there are some people questioning this but everything is in order."

"We are still asking ourselves if it is a fair," confessed Sissy van Alebeek, a fellow competitor in the women's peloton. "Okay she received a licence, but it is all very unclear. [The rider] can ride very hard; a lot of riders are asking if she really is all women, if everything was taken off."

Discussions on a women's cycling website in Holland also began posing the same questions as that of Van Alebeek's, which prompted the webmaster to close the forum, stating that: "all the anonymous curses getting out of line."

In 2002 a Canadian transgender competitor was selected for the national mountainbike team to contest the World Championships that year, which lead to resistance from some team members.

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