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On Sunday, August 28, Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi died as a result of injuries from a bike crash during the Vermont Overland gravel race. The professional cyclist from Eldoret, Kenya was 33 years old.
Related: Meet Suleiman Kangangi
Kangangi was a member of the newly-formed Team Amani, a squad of off-road riders from Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. He was the captain of the team, bringing with him a wealth of experience from racing on the road.
In 2016, Kangangi raced on the road with Kenya Riders Downunder, the first UCI continental team to be registered in East Africa. From there, he moved to Bike Aid, where he raced from 2017-2020. In 2017, Kangangi was third overall at the Tour du Rwanda.
However, Kangangi found new life breathed into his cycling career with the advent of the Migration Gravel Race, a four-day stage race that debuted in Kenya in 2021. The race brought international talent, like Ian Boswell and Laurens ten Dam, to compete with aspiring pros from East Africa on gravel in the Maasai Mara of Kenya.
Kangangi finished second overall in the inaugural race. In June, he won Evolution Gravel, the second stage race from the Amani Project to debut in East Africa.
In addition to furthering his own career as a gravel pro, Kangangi was dedicated to growing the sport within Kenya. He spearheaded the Migration Gravel Series, hosting events, clinics, and school events in and around Nairobi.
Kangangi had recently traveled to the U.S. with teammates Jordan Schleck and John Kariuki to compete at the Leadville Trail 100, SBT GRVL, Gravel Worlds, and Vermont Overland.
“Vermont Overland is heartbroken by the tragic death of Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi during The Overland yesterday,” said Ansel Dickey, owner of the race. “He was a kind friend and an inspiring and heroic athlete to his teammates and the gravel cycling community at large. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, his friends, Team Amani, and the people of Kenya who are mourning his loss today.”
The entire team at VeloNews extends our condolences to Sule’s friends and family. A GoFundMe account has been set up to support them.