People & Places

Kenyan cyclist dies in a crash during Vermont road race

Suleiman ‘Sule’ Kangangi, who posted this photo to Instagram on Aug. 20, died Saturday at the Vermont Overland gravel bike race. Photo via Instagram

Suleiman ‘Sule’ Kangangi died in a high-speed crash at the Vermont Overland’s 59-mile dirt road bicycle race on Saturday. 

The Overland was the last of four cycling races that Kangangi participated in during his visit to the United States, according to a GoFundMe page to raise money for his wife and children. 

Kangangi was the captain of Team AMANI, a project that aims to bring inclusivity to cycling and create opportunities for riders in Africa, according to their website.

“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,” wrote Team AMANI 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 Vermont Overland race includes nearly 7,000 feet of climbing and utilizes unmaintained Class 4 roads in and around Brownsville.

“Vermont Overland is heartbroken by the tragic death of Suleiman ‘Sule’ Kangangi during The Overland yesterday,” the owner of Vermont Overland, Ansel Dickey, wrote on the organization’s website Sunday. 

“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,” Dickey continued.

Kangangi was also recognized by Rachel Ruto, the wife of Kenya’s president-elect William Ruto. 

“My heartfelt condolences to his family, and the entire cycling community, that has lost a talented cyclist, a mentor and a friend,” she wrote on Twitter. “We will all miss him as an individual. Kenya has lost a champion,” she wrote.

The GoFundMe page for Kangangi had raised roughly $37,000 in donations as of Monday afternoon. 

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Juliet Schulman-Hall

About Juliet

Juliet Schulman-Hall recently graduated from Smith College, majoring in English, minoring in sociology and concentrating in poetry. Most recently, she has worked for MassLive covering abortion and the environment, among other topics. Prior to that, she worked for Ms. Magazine and has done freelance work for PBS's Next Avenue and Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.

Email: [email protected]

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