Amani’s John Kariuki won Saturday’s race, which includes nearly 7,000 feet of climbing, and Amani’s Jordan Schleck finished third. The newly formed team consists of riders from Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Team Amani describes itself as a nonprofit organization promoting inclusivity in cycling and creating opportunities for riders based in Africa.
Gravel racing generally takes place on open roads and combines road, cyclocross and mountain bike racing. About 900 cyclists were competing Saturday in the race that begins and ends in the unincorporated community of Brownsville in the town of West Windsor.
“Vermont Overland is completely heartbroken,” race organizer Ansel Dickey said 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.”
Kangangi raced for the pro continental team Bike Aid from 2016 until 2020, according to Velo News. He finished third overall in the 2017 Tour du Rwanda. He revived his cycling career with the Migration Gravel Race, a four-day event that debuted in Kenya in 2021. It featured international cyclists such as Ian Boswell and Laurens ten Dam alongside East Africa’s aspiring pros racing on gravel in the Maasai Mara of Kenya.
“My heartfelt condolences to his family, and the entire cycling community, that has lost a talented cyclist, a mentor and a friend,” Rachel Ruto, the wife of Kenya’s president-elect, William Ruto, tweeted. “We will all miss him as an individual. Kenya has lost a champion. Rest in peace Sule.”