It's been just 10 months since the charity cyclists from Team Rynkeby started preparing for this summer's cycling trip to Paris.
Since then, a few thousand training kilometres have been covered and millions of euros have been raised for children with critical illnesses.
On Saturday, July 8, a year filled with new friendships, plenty of exercise and experiences will culminate for the more than 2,000 cyclists and 500 helpers who this year represent what is probably the world's largest charity cycling team.
These are the words of Solvejg Lauridsen, General Manager of Team Rynkeby Fonden.
"You can probably compare a year at Team Rynkeby to a year at a high school. You get incredibly close to other people. You exercise together, work hard together, experience the same ups and downs, and then you are immensely affected by the children and families we ride for. The trip to Paris is the culmination of everything the participants have been through together," she says.
Excitement on the teams
This year, Team Rynkeby consists of 60 teams from 9 countries, who will start the trip to Paris from many different cities. Ahead of them is more than 1,300 km of highway to the French capital, divided into eight stages, before the teams from all over Europe gather for the big finish in Paris on July 15.
"Many of our participants are relatively new recreational riders, and if you haven't tried riding 200 km on a bike for several days in a row, you don't know how your body will react. The long days in the saddle will be a challenge for most of them, and you can clearly sense that there is a certain excitement among the teams about what lies ahead," says Solvejg Lauridsen.
Created by chance
Team Rynkeby was created in Denmark back in 2002 when 11 employees from the juice company Rynkeby Foods decided to cycle to Paris to watch the end of the Tour de France.
The project spread over the following years and has developed into one of the most successful CSR projects in Europe. Over the years, Team Rynkeby has raised more than EUR 85,9 million for children with critical illnesses, and in several countries, the project has become one of the most important contributors to childhood cancer research.
- The project has a unique history. It was created by a group of enthusiasts with no other purpose than to give participants a great exercise experience while contributing to a good cause. We have managed to hold on to that concept, even though the project in the meantime has grown to a huge scale.
On September 30, 2023, Team Rynkeby Fonden will reveal how much money the cyclists have managed to raise this year.