The ‘Fursa’ partnership between Wahoo and Team AMANI will give four top-level athletes the chance to compete at SBT GRVL, Gravel Worlds, and Vermont Overland
Wahoo, a leading fitness technology company, is excited to partner with Team AMANI, an organization aiming to make the sport of cycling more inclusive. The partnership titled “Fursa,” meaning “Opportunity” in Swahili, intends to give athletes equal opportunity at the sport of cycling. The two organizations will provide four East African athletes an opportunity to race premier gravel events SBT GRVL, Gravel Worlds, and Vermont Overland in the United States later this month. Last year, the organizations ran into unforeseen visa challenges, and were unable to send athletes to compete, making this year even more special to the mission of making cycling more accessible and inclusive.
Fursa Presented by Wahoo kicked off in 2021 with Kenya’s Migration Gravel Race — the first global gravel race held in East Africa. Team AMANI conceptualized this event, which gave athletes from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda access to high-level international competition on their home turf, allowing these riders the opportunity to compete against world-class talent without having to clear the many hurdles that East African riders otherwise encounter on the way to professional road racing.
“While cycling crowns World and Olympic champions, nearly all have come from Western Europe and North America. In order to create a sport with more opportunity and representation, we want to make sure that the exceptional riders from this currently underrepresented region get the chance to compete against the best in the world,” said Mikel Delagrange of Team AMANI. “These four athletes faced a year-long delay due to unforeseen visa challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ve been training harder than ever before and are ready for the chance to prove themselves. We’re proud to be able to give them that chance through the ‘Fursa’ program.”
Team AMANI collaborated with the world-renowned Wahoo Sports Science team to ensure each athlete had advanced preparation ahead of the event. Wahoo’s team had athletes perform a series of fitness/performance-related tests using the SYSTM software on their respective Wahoo KICKRs. From there, Wahoo specialists met with each country’s coaches to help provide personalized training guidance and recommendations going into the Mitigation Gravel Race. Following that race, the top-four athletes were selected to take their talents to the next level.
“It’s an honor for our team to be able to assist these athletes in their journey to these premier gravel events,” said Neal Henderson, head of Wahoo Sports Science. “We have been there through it all—from helping to train athletes ahead of the Migration Gravel Race to continuing to provide expert insights and recommendations in the 15 months since. It’s been an opportunity for our team to show the value in sports science, all while helping four athletes reach their full potential. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish from here.”
Wahoo and Team AMANI are proud to announce the four athletes heading to the United States to compete this month are Sule Kangangi, John Kariuki, Nancy Akinyi from Kenya and Jordan Schleck from Uganda.
Following these races, Wahoo will release a documentary on Team AMANI and the American Gravel race series in October, 2022, so the global cycling community can follow the incredible journey these riders have been on.
Wahoo’s Ian Boswell, winner of the 2021 UnBound 200, traveled to Africa for this race, finishing fourth. As ‘Fursa’ partnership manager, Boswell is proud to compete among these talented athletes, saying “It was humbling to travel to Kenya and find a race that provided incredibly tough physical and technical challenged, but also fierce competition from riders who have faced many challenges, but who still raced at the highest level. I’m incredibly excited to see how these four riders stack up against bigger fields here in the United States.”
The events kick off with SBT GRVL on August 14, followed by Gravel Worlds (August 19-20) and Vermont Overland (August 27). For more information on ‘Fursa’ Presented by Wahoo, please visit Fursa 2021.