Cycling: Kangangi win stage two of Tour De Machakos

By ERICK OCHIENG': Saturday, October 22nd 2016 at 10:49 GMT +3 | Sports
Commonwealth and All Africa Games representative Suleiman Kangangi cruise toward the finish line on his way to stage two victory at the ongoing Tour De Machakos cycling contest in Machakos County.

Commonwealth and All Africa Games representative Suleiman Kangangi clocked 1:57.15 to win stage two at the ongoing Tour De Machakos cycling contest in Machakos County.

The 27 year old Iten based cyclist had to battle stiff opposition from local and international riders to win the short and hotly contested 50km stage which saw him retain the yellow jersey for his Kenyan Rider squad.

“The race was tedious owing to the scorching overhead sun, sharp descends and precipitous hills. It was short and aggressive,” he narrated. Kangangi said he was buoyed by his second place finish in the criterium knock out stage one behind Joseph Gichora which was flagged off and graced by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.

“I got momentum for the contest after finishing close in stage one, this proved to me that all is possible this year, I am focus and doing everything perfectly so as to win the rest of the stages as well,” said Kangangi, who was second overall winner in his debut in this contest last year.

Apart from the fierce competition, Kangangi said he is also using the contest to step up his game ahead of the Tour De Rwanda in Kigali next month.

“I have attended Tour De Rwanda twice. I finished ninth overall in 2011 but had a terrible performance last year. I want my story to read differently this year so I have started to up my training as early as possible,” he said.

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Kangangi was given a run for his money toward the finish line by his fellow Kenyan Rider team maten Geoffrey Langat. Langat clocked 1:57.38 to emerge runners up in the stage two.

Langat had led all the way up to the turning point in Kathiani but failed to keep up with the speed on return journey to the finish line which gave Kangangi advantage to overtake him and nip victory.

But Langat insisted it was a game plan to grant Kangangi the lee way to victory since they are all from the same riding camp. “Cycling is all about strategy, I had the potential to win this stage but we were also doing our own calculations to help us own and retain the yellow jersey. So I left Kangangi to win since he is a very strong rider who would make us proud with the yellow jersey,” explained Langat.

Just like Kangangi, Langat is also using the race to step up training ahead of Tour De Rwanda that is slated for November 13 where he will be making a debut.

Langat was fifth overall at the Tour De Machakos last season. The 50km stage two contest commenced at the Machakos Peoples Park through to Kathiani and back with the finish point at the Machakos Tourism Headquarters. But Ayub Kathurima who has posted for Kenya impressive results at various international championships has been a pale shadow of himself at the ongoing event.

“I had bout of malaria so didn’t get enough time to prepare for this race, nonetheless, I am using it to shape up for the Tour of Shangai in China next month. Hopefully I will be fit before I fly to China,” said Kathurima.

Fact Box Stage Two results 1. Suleiman Kangangi 1:57.15 2. Geoffrey Langat 1:57.38 3. Josphat Githambo 1:58.41 4. Joseph Gichora 1:59.37 5. Salim Kipkemboi 1:59.39 Stage One results (knockout without timings) Men winner-Joseph Gichora Kamau Men Runners up-Suleiman Kangangi Women winner-Joyce Nyaruri Junior winner-Salim Kipkemboi Veteran winner-David Kinjah