Rachel Ruto leads Kenyans in mourning cyclist Sule Kangangi

The late Sule Kangangi and Rachel Ruto during a past event. [Twitter, Rachel ruto]

President-elect William Ruto's wife, Rachel Ruto has Sunday led Kenyans in mourning Team Amani cyclist Suleiman 'Sule' Kangangi, who died Saturday, August 27, in Vermont, USA.

Kangangi died after a crash during the Vermont Overland race in which he was participating alongside compatriots John Kariuki and Nancy Akinyi, as well as Uganda’s Jordan Schleck.

While details of the tragic crash remain scanty, Rachel, a cycling enthusiast, mourned Kangangi as a friend and mentor whose passing is a great loss to the community.

“It is with shock that I have received the sad news that Kangangi passed away after a tragic crash in the United States. My heartfelt condolences to his family, and the entire cycling community, that has lost a talented cyclist, a mentor and a friend. We will all miss him as an individual. Kenya has lost a champion. Rest in peace Sule,” tweeted Rachel.

According to Team Amani partner Wahoo, the Saturday race pedalled off at 1pm (local time), featured a post-ride party that canvassed, among others, a demo fleet of specialised bicycles, Wahoo Fitness, and ROKO vehicles at 4pm, and ended at around 7pm.

Team Amani cyclist Sule Kangangi. [Twitter, Rachel ruto]

Speaking ahead of the event after the unveiling of the four to participate in the USA race, Neal Henderson, the head of Wahoo Sports Science, said the organization partnered with Team Amani to make cycling more inclusive.

Henderson said the partnership was geared toward demonstrating their support for athletes in their journey to premier gravel events and the value of sports science.

“We have been there through it all - from helping to train athletes ahead of the Migration Gravel Race, to continuing to provide expert insights and recommendations in the 15 months since. It’s been an opportunity for our team to show the value in sports science, all while helping four athletes reach their full potential. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish from here,” said Henderson.

The Overland is an open 59-mile dirt road bicycle race featuring close to 7,000 feet of climbing, eight sectors of Class4 Roads and two well-fortified sag stops. Pavement sections along the course are purely transitional and no longer than a kilometre or two in each stretch, according to the race’s website. 

The race seeks to promote adventure riding so as to benefit the Reading/West Windsor Food Shelf and Ascutney Outdoors in the event’s host town of Reading, officials said.

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