African cycling has lost one of its most inspiring riders after a crash in Vermont.
As gravel riding has expanded into a global series of events, Kenyan riders have started following the example of their country’s running superstars being invited to compete at various gravel races. Mostly in the United States.
Team AMANI is a non-profit organisation shaped as a team to facilitate the participation of Kenyan riders globally in select off-road racing events. At the Overland gravel race in Vermont, tragedy struck, resulting in the loss of team AMANI captain Sule Kangangi after a high-speed crash on Saturday.
Kangani succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
Race organisers were shocked when breaking the news. "We are completely heartbroken by the tragic death of Suleiman 'Sule' Kangangi during The Overland on Saturday. He was a kind friend and an inspiring and heroic athlete to his teammates and the gravel cycling community at large."
A seasoned road and gravel rider
An experienced rider, the 33-year-old Kangangi has raced for the Pro Continental team Bike Aid from 2016-2020. He recorded an impressive result in 2017, finishing third overall at the Tour du Rwanda.
Despite his road racing success, it was evident that Kangangi was at his best on gravel.
The Migration Gravel Race, launched last year, focused global attention on the immense potential of Kenyan riders and terrain. It proved an excellent springboard for a rider of Kangangi’s talent, delivering him to the burgeoning American gravel racing schedule of events.
Details on Kangangi’s crash remain unclear. The Overland gravel race is a 95km event and an elevation of 2133m.