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Kenyan cyclist Suleiman Kangangi died at the age of 33 years old during a high-speed crash over the weekend in Vermont.
While competing in the 59-mile Vermont Overland race on Saturday, Kangangi fatally crashed while riding on the gravel road.
“Sule is our captain, friend, brother. He is also a father, husband and son. Gaping holes are left when giant’s fall. Sule was a giant,” his Team Amani said in a statement on social media. “Instead of leading us at the front of the pack, he will now lead us as our guiding pole star as we press forward in the realization of his dream.”
The race featured over 900 riders, competing on a 59-mile track with an additional 7,000 feet of climbing. The competition took place in the Vermont town of West Windsor.
Kangangi also received a tribute from Rachel Ruto, the wife of the Kenyan president-elect William Ruto, who offered her condolences to the athlete’s family and loved ones.
“My heartfelt condolences to his family, and the entire cycling community, that has lost a talented cyclist, a mentor and a friend,” she said. “We will all miss him as an individual. Kenya has lost a champion. Rest in peace Sule.”
Kangangi has competed all over the world as a renowned cyclist. From 2016 until 2020, Kangangi competed with Bike Aid, during which he finished third in the 2017 Tour du Rwanda. More recently, he competed in the Migration Gravel Race in Kenya last year with cyclists such as Ian Boswell and Lauren ten Dam.
“Vermont Overland is heartbroken by the tragic death of Suleiman ‘Sule’ Kangangi during The Overland yesterday,” said the owner of the Vermont Overland, Ansel Dickey, in a statement. “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.”