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
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.
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