Suleiman Kangangi is ready for pain. He is ready for exhaustion, hunger, thirst, dust, dirt and heat. He is ready for Africa. The Kenyan cyclist is ready for the first Migration Gravel Race in the wilds of Kenya from June 23 – 26.
Kangangi will battle some of the world’s best gravel riders as well as 650 kilometres and a total of 8000 metres of elevation. He will traverse single track, game trails, red clay, and rough hard pack gravel around the Maasai Mara region. He is also ready for the average elevation of 1900m – he grew up in the Rift Valley at much higher altitudes.
When asked how he was feeling just days out from the big race, the quietly spoken Kenyan said simply,
Most of the race will pass through Maasai villages as well as plains, rivers, mountains and across big game country. Kangangi has ridden much of the route in training and in helping to establish the route. As organisers have promised:
Not all kilometres are equal.
Kangangi is also ready to seize an opportunity. He has raced all over the world as a member of German road cycling team Bike Aid, Kenyan Riders and the national team. He now enjoys the opportunity to race the world’s best on his home soil, and to benefit from one of the founding principles of the MGR: to bring the world’s best cyclists to Africa and expose African cyclists to elite competition without having to leave home.
One of the pioneers of Kenyan cycling is now fine tuning his preparation for the big race, and his steely exterior hides a strong undercurrent of excitement,
“It’s gonna be hot,”