Cyclist Sule Kangangu Dies in Crash During Vermont Bike Race: 'Kenya Has Lost a Champion'

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cyclist Sule Kangangi
cyclist Sule Kangangi

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Suleiman 'Sule' Kangangi, a cyclist from Kenya, died this weekend while participating in a race in Vermont.

According to the Associated Press, the 33-year-old was traveling at a high speed during the Vermont Overland gravel race on Saturday when he crashed and died.

Kangangi was a member of the Team AMANI cycling organization and had joined the group for a series of races in the United States including the Leadville 100, SBT GRVL and Gravel Worlds, per Bicycling Magazine.

No other details were released about Kangangi's death. The Vermont Overland was the final gravel event on the schedule for the team.

"Sule Kangangi tragically lost his life yesterday after crashing at high speed during a race in Vermont," Team AMANI wrote in a post on Instagram Sunday. "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."

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"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," they continued. "Pumzika kwa amani Sule, you shall always be with us."

Cyclist Adam Roberge, who won the Gravel Worlds last weekend, paid tribute to Kangangi on social media and recalled seeing him "pushing [himself] to the absolute limit" during the Vermont Overland.

"Sule, it was an honour to share these past three races with you," he wrote, in part. "I'll keep this memory with me and try my best to honour you when I feel the urge to give up."

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Team AMANI cyclists John Kariuki and Jordan Schleck finished in first and third place at the Vermont Overland.

A GoFundMe campaign was started to raise funds for Kangangi's wife and children in Kenya, and has raised nearly $40,000 as of Monday afternoon.

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"Sule Kangangi was not only the Captain of Team AMANI but also a leader in African cycling," a description on the donation page said. "His dream of bringing East African cycling to the world was becoming a concrete reality these last few weeks as he had the opportunity to race in the US for the first time."

Rachel Ruto, the wife of Kenyan President-Elect William Ruto, sent her condolences to Kangangi's family with a message on Twitter.

"My heartfelt condolences to his family, and the entire cycling community, that has lost a talented cyclist, a mentor and a friend," she wrote. "We will all miss him as an individual. Kenya has lost a champion. Rest in peace Sule."