Jillian Bearden, first female transgender cyclist to ride in a pro U.S. peloton, emerges as beacon for other trans athletes | SummitDaily.com

Jillian Bearden, first female transgender cyclist to ride in a pro U.S. peloton, emerges as beacon for other trans athletes

Stats on Bearden’s performance before and after hormone therapy bolster case the trans athletes have changed more than their names

By JASON BLEVINS | The Denver Post

Salida, CO - July 29: Jillian Bearden, left, is in action during Salida Classic. Bearden is a Colorado Springs cyclist who recently began racing as a woman after several years of racing as Jonathan. She is racing the Colorado Classic, her highest-level event ever after winning the Tour of Tuscon in her big-race debut as a female racer last fall.

SALIDA — Less than three years into her transition from Jonathan to Jillian, pro cyclist Jillian Bearden has once again found serenity on her bike. Now, using studies and stats collected during her long career, she's helping prove that transgender athletes change more than their names, they change their biology.

Bearden has watched her performance ebb since beginning hormone-replacement therapy in 2015. As testosterone fades and estrogen grows, her fastest times on favorite climbs have slipped into what she calls "the gutter."

It was tough realizing her hard-earned power, developed over more than a decade of elite-level bike racing, was waning.

Read the full story on The Denver Post, click here.

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