Kenyan cyclist Sule Kangangi died after crashing Saturday during the Vermont Gravel Race.
He was 33.
"Sule is our captain, friend, brother. He is also a father, husband and son. Gaping holes are left when giant's fall. Sule was a giant," AMANI, Kangangi's racing team, said in a statement. "Instead of leading us at the front of the pack, he will now lead us as our guiding pole star as we press forward in the realization of his dream."
The Vermont Overland is a 59-mile dirt road course that featured more than 900 competitors this year. The crash took place on the final leg of the course.
"Vermont Overland is completely heartbroken by the tragic death of Suleiman 'Sule' Kangangi during The Overland yesterday," Overland owner Ansel Dickey said in a statement. "He was a kind friend and an inspiring and heroic athlete to his teammates and the gravel cycling community at large. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, his friends, Team Amani, and the people of Kenya who are mourning his loss today."
Kangangi was a longtime road course rider who recently made the switch to dirt tracks. He was slated to compete in three different gravel races during his trip to the United States.