Four international riders will travel from Kenya stateside to grace U.S. gravel this fall. Meet the riders here.
Wahoo Sports Science is working with Team AMANI (based in Kenya and Uganda) on a special collaboration: to welcome select international riders to the U.S. for a once-in-a-lifetime gravel experience. Announced today, the two companies identified four riders from East Africa who will travel to the U.S. to compete in professional races.
Dubbed Fursa, the overall collaboration “aims to help riders in the underserved cycling market,” Wahoo Fitness wrote. Specifically, to help these riders reach a top echelon of racing “without having to clear the structural barriers that exist on traditional paths to the professional sport.”
Fursa, presented by Wahoo, kicked off in June with Kenya’s Migration Gravel Race — the first global gravel race held in East Africa. According to Wahoo and Team AMANI, the event had three goals: to give athletes from East Africa nations a competition on their home turf, to spark interest in gravel racing in those nations, and to lower barriers that riders from East Africa can face competing in standard world competitions.
Fursa blends sponsorship, financial support, and moral support. But most importantly, it brings more camaraderie to the global community of Wahoo and AMANI coaches, cyclists, and teammates.
Meet the Fursa Gravel Riders
The four Kenyan riders — John Kariuki, Geoffrey Langat, Sule Kangangi, and Nancy Akinyi — will compete in the Belgian Waffle Ride Asheville and Vermont Overland.
Nancy Akinyi, 31: When Akinyi went to university, someone offered her a mountain bike and she never looked back. Since taking up the sport, she’s won nearly every race she has entered.
As part of the Kenyan national team, Akinyi was third in the African continental championships in 2018, and third in the All African games in 2019. In 2021, she won the Migration Gravel Race.
Sule Kangangi, 32: Kangangi started racing 10 years ago with an African continental team called Kenya Riders. A year later, he moved to BikeAid, a pro-continental team based in Germany.
In his career, he’s raced internationally in Europe, Australia, and China. He placed third in the Tour of Rwanda, won the 2020 Gravel Gorilla race in Rwanda, and placed second in the Migration Gravel Race.
Geoffrey Langat, 31: Like many Kenyans, Langat was first an accomplished distance runner before he turned his attention to cycling. Also before cycling, Langat was a pro roller skater, winning the African Championship in Pretoria, South Africa in the marathon discipline.
Before joining a team, Langat’s only cycling experience was riding his single-speed bike back and forth to school. His achievements include riding for the Kenya Riders team and winning the third stage of the Migration Gravel Race.
John Kariuki, 24: Kariuki used to only ride a bike to commute to his job in Nakuru, Kenya. One day during his commute, a cyclist from the local Kenya Riders team passed him on a road bike. Kariuki ended up beating the cyclist to the top of a hill, and he began racing shortly after.
Kariuki won the Tour of Machakos (the biggest road stage race in Kenya) in 2019. He is also a multi-time champ on Zwift.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of the ‘Fursa’ partnership between Wahoo and Team AMANI,” said Kangangi. “We went from a very uncertain future to one where, if we work hard and perform, we just may be able to create some opportunities for ourselves. We see this trip to the U.S. as a chance to show the world what we can achieve.”
Learn more about the fast-and-furious Fursa gravel team and see the outcome of the Kenya gravel race below.
Update: due to visa obtainment issues, the Fursa gravel team riders’ arrival in the U.S. has been delayed to 2022.