The global community of cyclists came together to support the family of the late Kenyan racing maestro, Suleiman ‘Sule’ Kangangi, after his sudden demise while racing in Vermont, US.
In a Go Fund Me fundraiser launched after his death on Monday, August 30, the team raised Ksh8.1 million (USD67,918) surpassing the Ksh4.8 million (USD40,000) target.
Paul Martens launched the drive to benefit Sule’s wife and children – who are the most affected by the tragedy.
“On the occasion of his untimely and tragic passing, the friends of Sule Kangangi have created a memorial fund solely dedicated to supporting Sule’s wife and children. He was not only the Captain of Team Amani but also a leader in African cycling.
President-elect, William Ruto’s wife, Rachael Ruto and her cycling partner, Sule Kangangi.
MAMA RACHAEL RUTO
“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,” read the statement on the fundraising page in part.
Kangangi passed away during a high-octane 59-mile dirt road bicycle race in at the Vermont Overland grounds.
The grounds owner, Ansel Dickey, noted that individuals who participated in the race were shocked by the turn of events and described the grounds as well-maintained and straight.
He added that the other cyclists rushed to help him after he crashed but passed away en route to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. 1,100 cyclists participated in the race.
“(It is) a well-maintained, straight, downhill section of dirt and gravel, with good visibility. I have no doubt that everyone in the cycling community and the 1100 riders who completed the overland are completely perplexed about how something this horrifying could have happened to such a high-calibre rider,” read a statement by Dickey.
The Vermont Overland is a 7,000-feet stretch of climbing which uses unmaintained Class 4 roads in the Brownsville area. The race lasts for up to six hours.
After Kangangi’s demise, President-elect, William Ruto’s wife, Rachel Ruto, mourned him and lauded his efforts in transcending the industry and essentially placing Kenyan cyclists on the map. The deceased was one of her cycling partners.
“It is with shock that I have received the sad news that Sule 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,” she eulogised.