Leisure, Leisure, Stories

Salim Kipkemboi, exceptional talent from Kenya

In our “SIGMA Stories” series, we are taking a close look at our brand ambassadors. They are taking us on a journey through their past, sharing their successes and providing glimpses of their everyday lives. Now we will tell you the fascinating story of Salim Kipkemboi.  

And the story really is fascinating. From a bike without brakes to a professional cyclist on the German Bike Aid UCI Continental Team. This sounds almost like a fairy tale, and may even be one, but it is the real-life story of Salim Kipkemboi. While the exceptional Kenyan talent was staying with his team in Blieskastel in Germany’s Saarland in the summer of 2021, he used the time to train or compete in races. And we took the opportunity to visit him.

The passion and joy, as well as the concentration and precision, he radiates during training are impressive. But he is always prepared to have fun and makes an unassuming impression. One might even get the idea that he himself can’t believe how his life has changed. How did the Kenyan manage to exchange his brakeless bike for a professional cycle?

It all began with the “Black Mamba”

“One day I was sitting in Kenya selling firewood,” Kipkemboi relates. “Then several cyclists came by, and in that moment, I thought, ‘Why don’t I just follow them?'” So he took his friend’s “Black Mamba“ – a bike without gears or brakes – and did exactly that. The pros were impressed with his ability and immediately invited him on a training tour. He quickly connected with Bike Aid and team captain Mathias Schnapka, and everyone was soon enthusiastic about the new cyclist:

“He is so strong, talented, and explosive. In a category 2.1 race, he became the first Kenyan cyclist to win an international cycling race. It was incredible to be there!

Teammate Nikodemus Holler

Kipkemboi’s dream is to compete against world-class cyclists in a Grand Tour. Given his impressive history, there should be no major obstacles in his pursuit of that dream. You can watch Salim Kipkemboi’s incredible story in this video:  

Have you seen the SIGMA Stories instalments about Karl Platt, Marcel Kittel, and Anne Terpstra?