Inspired by Sule

Written by POC and Team AMANI

Recently we woke up to the tragic news trickling out of North America; our friend, partner, teammate and inspiration Sule Kangangi died whilst competing in the Vermont Overland gravel race.

And if we are honest it still does not feel real.

After all, we can acknowledge that there are risks associated with bike racing, but none of us seriously contemplates that it could result in the loss of life.

However deep and resonate our shock and grief at the passing of Sule has been, it pales in comparison to that which is currently being endured by Sule’s family.

Photo: Finley Newmark
Photo: Finley Newmark

What happened is simply not fair.

But if we have learned one thing from Sule whilst supporting each other over the years, it is that fairness is short-lived; it’s an ideal that must be fought for and defended every single day.

After all, if things were fair, Team Amani would not have been necessary in the first place. Driven by Sule, and project partner Mikel Delagrange, it came to be precisely because access to the sport of cycling in not fair, or level.

Photo: Finley Newmark
Photo: Finley Newmark
Photo: Finley Newmark

Sule inspired everyone by his ability, his vision for change and his willingness to challenge the way the world works (and does not work).

And if we were able to ask Sule for some words and seek his guidance, we are sure he would say our job was nowhere near complete and that what we have achieved only underscores the need to further press on.

The door has only slightly opened for our current crop of athletes, we need to kick it down so that the next generation are given an equal opportunity to showcase their ability on the world stage.

Photo: Alex Dufill

So as hard as it may be, we should never consider stopping.


Sule would impress upon us the importance of continuing, by giving everyone the opportunity, not charity, to succeed. To make Team Amani a team of riders to be feared by other international racers, to give riders in East Africa the chance to earn a living from cycling and inspire new generations of Sules, Johns and Nancys to take up the sport. To give his family the pride in his continuing achievement.

And to have fun.

Photo: Finley Newmark
Photo: Finley Newmark

Sule would smile and laugh a lot on the bike and we are pretty sure he would want us all to do the same.

So we will.

When we win, when we lose, when we cry, when we laugh, it will be with Sule in our minds as we continue down the path he blazed for us.

POC and Team AMANI