World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and INEOS have teamed up to unveil the Eliud Kipchoge Cycling Academy in Kaptagat, Iten. Based in an area known for nurturing athletic talent, the new camp hopes to expand Kenya’s sporting dominance to the world of cycling.
Petrochemicals firm INEOS, owned by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has been one of Kipchoge’s biggest backers in recent years. It was INEOS who sponsored his famous sub-2 hour marathon in Vienna, Austria.
While unveiling the cycling academy, Kipchoge hinted at more sports being integrated into the facility.
Kipchoge stated : “I’m proud that we are expanding our Kaptagat based training camp from a purely athletics focused training camp towards a wider kind of sports academy. The INEOS Eliud Kipchoge Cycling Academy is a very natural fit with great potential to enable our young talented cyclists to make the next steps towards the top level of cycling.”
Experts from the INEOS Grenadiers Cycling Team will work alongside Kaptagat-based professionals in a bid to create a new generation of cycling superstars. The camp will be headed by Valentijn Trouw, who has over 30 years’ experience in identifying and nurturing long distance running talent in Kenya.
Valentijn Trouw said: “We work with the great potential of east African long-distance runners for over 30 years, and I believe the exceptional local endurance talent combined with the great training environment at Kaptagat will be perfect for developing quality cyclists. Working together with Sir Dave Brailsford, the INEOS Grenadiers Cycling Team and tapping into the broader INEOS sporting family will bring us the world’s best practice in competitive cycling.”
“I am excited by the opportunity to build a relatively new sport in Kenya, in good harmony and collaboration with the Kenyan Cycling Federation, bringing together our collective knowledge and insights from running and cycling for the benefit of the sport.”
INEOS Chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe echoed Kipchoge’s sentiments, stating: “There is such exciting sporting talent, passion and ambition in Africa and at INEOS we want to continue to invest to help realise its maximum potential. I visited the Kaptagat facility in Kenya recently and came away convinced that this partnership can do something truly different and unique for cycling – as well as for aspiring young African athletes.”
INEOS’ Director of Sport and INEOS Grenadiers Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford said: “This is a significant and exciting development in world cycling – it has the power to drive lasting change by developing new riders from Africa. We all know the talent is there – we’ve seen it this year with Biniam Girmay’s history-making successes at the Giro d’Italia and Gent-Wevelgem, and I saw it first-hand in the inspiring young athletes I met in Kaptagat. Their passion, dedication and love of sport is a perfect fit with the INEOS Grenadiers’ spirit of giving it all to race and be your best. Together I believe we can achieve something unique and important for cycling in Kenya, Africa, and the sport itself.”