A former pro road racer who finished on the podium at the 2017 Tour du Rwanda, Kangangi made the transition to gravel and off-road racing this year as an ambassador for Giant Kenya. For 2022, Kangangi will expand his role to become a global brand ambassador, focusing on major gravel and marathon XC races in Africa and beyond.
“Gravel racing is a pretty new thing in East Africa, but as events like the Migration Gravel Race start to attract more attention, we’re seeing this community begin to grow,” Kangangi said. “I’m really excited that Giant is joining me in my mission to show people here at home, and also around the world, that this type of racing can bring new opportunities to cyclists everywhere.”
Kangangi began racing a decade ago at age 22 when he saw a road race come through his hometown of Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Compared to running, which is a hugely popular sport in Kenya, competitive cycling gets far less attention. Without the structured support of a development program or national team, it’s difficult for talented riders like Kangangi to reach the top levels of the sport.
Despite the challenges, Kangangi has blazed his own trail. He started competing as an amateur, racing for club teams and gaining experience at small races in Europe and Australia. In 2016, he signed with Kenyan Riders Downunder, a UCI Continental team made up of riders from Kenya, Australia and New Zealand. A year later Kangangi made the move to Bike Aid, a German-based Continental team.
After three years with Bike Aid, Kangangi made the decision to focus on gravel and off-road competition. In addition to racing, he also serves as a coordinator for the Amani Project, an organization aimed at creating more opportunities for East African cyclists.
The Amani Project organizes the Migration Gravel Race in Kenya, which this year attracted former WorldTour riders including American Ian Boswell, winner of the 2021 Unbound gravel race in Kansas, and Dutch pro Laurens ten Dam, who won the four-day race through the Masai Mara wildlife reserve.
Looking ahead to 2022, Kangangi is focusing on a mix of gravel and marathon MTB events. He will train and race primarily on the new Revolt Advanced Pro gravel bike and the Anthem Advanced Pro 29 XC bike.
“I’m already training on my new Giant bikes, and I can’t wait to start racing with them,” Kangangi said. “I have big plans for 2022. In addition to helping organize events and grow the sport here at home, I will compete at some of the biggest races in Africa, North America and Europe.”
Kangangi’s 2022 race calendar includes the Rwanda Epic and Cape Epic mountain bike races in March. Later in the year he plans to race some iconic gravel events in the U.S. including Unbound in Kansas and SBT GRVL in Colorado.
For more information on Sule Kangangi, click here.
And to keep up with Kangangi’s adventures all year long, you can follow him on Instagram.