Race Categories

In the past we’ve always strived for equality and to be one of the most open and inclusive races out there. Since the very beginning, we’ve offered equal prizes for the men and women’s race. But we recognise that as society evolves, cycling should too and so in 2021 we changed our format.

Gender identity should never be discriminated against, and we aim to create an inclusive racing environment for all, and welcome all gender expressions to our races.

We realised that binary racing categories are no longer fit for purpose. It shouldn’t be up to racers who do not identify with the traditional categories to face pressure to fit into them or else be excluded or face intrusive questioning, or for a third category to be created which further ‘others’ them in the sport. It’s time for the categories themselves to change and become more inclusive.

Therefore, we say goodbye to gendered race categories. The men’s race and women’s race are no more. Welcome to the new Thundercrit categories, which are based on the principle that the best and most fun competition is a fair and inclusive competition, where the performance level of the competitors in each category is similar to those around them. 

We have created two new race categories – Thunder and Lightning – that take the physical performance of cis-men or cis-women as the starting point of each, and invites those of similar ability to race in that category, regardless of gender. It is a radical rethink of what a race could look like, celebrating the differences between riders but offering a level playing field in terms of competition.

Thunder Category

This category is for:

  • Cis-men
  • Non-binary people whose physical performance aligns most with cis-men
  • Trans men and women whose physical performance aligns most closely with cis-men

Lightning Category

This category is for:

  • Cis-women
  • Non-binary people whose physical performance aligns with cis-women
  • Trans men and women whose physical performance aligns most closely with cis-women


  • Cis-people cannot choose their racing category. Cis-men will race in the Thunder category, cis-women will race in the Lightning category. 
  • We recognise that this new format may be confusing, so if you’re not sure please email us (info@nltcbmbc.com) and we will be very happy to help you choose the right category. We may also contact riders to double check that they have selected the correct category.
  • We will not require any proof of medical treatment, we trust competitors to select the category most appropriate for their performance.
  • Transphobic behaviour will not be tolerated. Edgelords will not be tolerated. 
  • However, we are open to constructive feedback. We don’t have all the answers and we recognise that this is not necessarily the perfect solution, so we are open to ideas and suggestions on how we can improve in the future.

A and B Subcategories

  • Within the Thunder and Lightning categories there will be a ‘A’ or ‘B’ level which will help us seed the final races in groups according to ability.
  • The qualifying races will help us separate racers into A and B categories effectively, so by the time we get to the Finals races you will be racing against people of a similar ability to yourself.


One thing we’re not giving up in this updated format is our commitment to equal prizes. Prizes for the Thunder and Lightning categories will be the same, and will be provided by our generous sponsors.

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