Team AMANI’s Suleiman Kangangi and Kenneth Karaya have rejuvenated the Kenyan challenge at the Absa Cape Epic.
Taking up the baton which David Kinjah Njau and Davidson Kamau Kihagi carried through the first five editions of the race.
In the early editions of the Absa Cape Epic two Kenyans flew not only their nation’s flag but also helped grow the global stature of the race. They were David Kinjah Njau and Davidson Kamau Kihagi. Since their last participation, as a team, in 2008 an all-Kenyan squad has not achieved a stellar result in the overall standings. In 2022 Team AMANI’s Suleiman Kangangi and Kenneth Karaya seek to change that, enhancing inclusivity in cycling in the process.
“The AMANI project brings together initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusivity in cycling and creating opportunities for riders based in East Africa and Africa in general,” Kangangi explained of the AMANI Racing Team project. “AMANI have brought freshness and belief back to us, as riders. It’s more than just a team concerned about winning races.”
Having only recently taken up off-road racing the mountain biking bug has bitten 33-year-old Kangangi hard. “I’ve raced on the road most of my career,” he pointed out. “But last year I started the transition and I’m enjoying off-road more now. I know the Absa Cape Epic is going to be a really, really, tough race; as I’ve seen how cruel it can be on TV. We’re doing everything we can to arrive in South Africa as well prepared as possible. Knowing that we will be lining up with the best mountain bikers in the world is motivation enough to train hard. But, most of all I’m looking forward to see how I fair in the race in general. It seems like a great opportunity to measure oneself against world class riders.”
Karaya, for his part, already has an Absa Cape Epic finish to his name. The 25-year-old rode the 2021 event with Australia’s Lachlan Morton and is looking forward to taking up the challenge again, just 6 months later. “The Absa Cape Epic is a tough event, but the benefit of having done it before is that I know now how to prepare” Karaya allowed. “I was a bit sick before the race last year – this year I hope to hit the start line at 100%. Our goal is to try and win the Absa African Jersey. It will mean a lot to Kenya to bring that home!”
To watch Team AMANI chase their Absa African dream visit cape-epic.com. The race is set to take place from the 20th to the 27th of March 2022.