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Pedaling for Hope: BENEO’s Energizing Commitment to Team Rynkeby’s Journey.

Group picture Team Rynkeby Nieder-Olm in front of the factory in Offstein

For 5 years now, BENEO has been supporting Team Rynkeby in their cycling Tour to Paris for a good cause and we are proud of it. As part of this great initiative, I would like to talk about our commitment and share my enthusiasm for this wonderful cause in this blog post. On your marks, get set, go!

Embracing Social Responsibility: Why We Partnered with Team Rynkeby.

As an organisation, it is important for us to take social and societal responsibility. That is why we chose to work with Team Rynkeby. In a nutshell, it’s Europe’s largest cycling initiative for a good cause: fighting childhood cancer. Since 2011, enthusiastic amateur cyclists from different geographical areas have set off on a tour to Paris, covering between 900 and 1,400 kilometres in seven to eight days. And every year, more people take part; supported by many helpers and sponsors. This year, about 2,400 cyclists and 550 supporters from 64 regional teams in 9 countries gave their best. Since its beginnings, Team Rynkeby has collected over 85 million Euros in donations for seriously ill children.

The name “Rynkeby” goes back to the Danish fruit juice company Rynkeby Foods. It was acquired by the Eckes-Granini Group in 2016 and then continued under the name Team Rynkeby as a lighthouse project of the Eckes-Granini sustainability strategy.

Expanding Our Support: Teams in Germany and Belgium.

Since 2018, BENEO has supported Team Rynkeby Nieder-Olm, one of five German teams, and since 2022 also Team Rynkeby Belgium. The idea of collecting donations for children with cancer and mastering sporting challenges at the same time immediately excited us. We are impressed that every participant shows extraordinary commitment – both athletically and financially.

BENEO has been a gold sponsor for 5 years now and provides sustained energy releasing Palatinose™ free of charge in addition to financial resources. Besides this, we have regularly reported on the team and their goals on our social media channels and used our network to raise awareness of Team Rynkeby and find more supporters. Matthias Cruse, Head of Quality Assurance at Eckes-Granini Deutschland GmbH recently mentioned: “We are proud and pleased to have such an active, loyal and well-meaning partner at our side in BENEO.”

Team Rynkeby Partnership: Supporting the Tour with Palatinose™.

But what is it that makes Palatinose™ so special, and why is it being used by Team Rynkeby? Palatinose™ is a carbohydrate derived from sugar beet. It provides full energy from carbohydrates (4kcal/g) in a balanced manner thanks to its low glycaemic effect. It prolongs energy supply by its slow-release mechanism and by improving fat burning during physical activity. In addition, it is the first non-cariogenic and therefore tooth-friendly sugar. This makes it perfect for use in the Tour to Paris and during the almost one-year-long training-intensive preparation period for the Tour.

Granini has developed its proprietary “Team Rynkeby Sports Drink” containing our Palatinose™, which is exclusively available to cyclists for their training and the Tour. “As the summer arrives and temperatures rise the need for the right drinks goes up exponentially. This is where the special Palatinose™ drink really helps us keeping energized for many hours”, Morten Petersen, team manager of Team Rynkeby Belgium, told us. “White sugars, energy shots and the like burn your stomach and if not carefully balanced with real food the effects can be very counterproductive for the riders’ performance and recovery. It is therefore essential to consume carbohydrates that are easy to digest and comfortable to consume day after day. Here Palatinose™ fills a great void with milder sweetness and a slow, but easy absorption.”

Benefiting Cyclists: Eight Teams and the Palatinose™ Advantage.

Laurence Bosteels, a member of the Belgian Team Rynkeby and a pharmacist working for the Belgian Children’s Fund for Paediatric Research, joined Team Rynkeby Belgium last year as a novice rider and told us what she likes about Palatinose™: “The advantage of Palatinose™ is that it is a so-called ‘slow sugar’. It takes time to be converted into energy. It helps to avoid that you have a sudden peak of sugar in your blood. Palatinose™ provides us with useful energy. Because when you do 7 days in a row 150 km, well, then you need to fill your energy tank with some extra sugars that won’t give you a high peak of sugar in your blood but give you a more stable insulin secretion. And also, the sugar provides you with longer energy, it is much more stable.”

Morten Petersen, team manager of Team Rynkeby Belgium with Laurence Bosteels from the Belgian team

As the riders have to perform at the highest level during the very intensive training period leading up to the Tour, but also during the 7 to 8 day tour to Paris, it is particularly important that the products are well tolerated and can be consumed by the riders without any concerns. The Team Rynkeby sports drink with Palatinose™ is always with them in large dispensers so that the riders can refill their bottles from the service car at any time. Morten Petersen told us: “I have used Palatinose™ for a bit over a year now and it suits me particularly well as I have a fragile stomach and am not a great fan of sweet stuff. In addition, since I started using Palatinose™, not one single time did I feel a sugar-rush. The slow absorption of Palatinose™ is really an advantage. For sure my digestive system is extremely pleased and looking back probably also my teeth.”

Talking to Dr. Volker Herdegen, Head of Research and Development at Eckes-Granini Deutschland GmbH, we learned that the company’s own drink formulation has been continuously adapted and improved over the years to meet the needs of riders and is now indispensable on the tour. For this season, a total of eight teams (five teams in Germany, one team in Belgium and two teams in Denmark) could benefit from the “Team Rynkeby Sportsdrink” containing Palatinose™.

Once “addicted” to Palatinose™ there is no way back to white sugar!

Morten Petersen

An amazing experience: The Rynkeby Nieder-Olm Team’s visit to BENEO.

A special highlight this year before the actual Tour to Paris was the final training trip of Team Rynkeby Nieder-Olm with a visit to our German factory in Offstein at the end of June. Here, together with some colleagues, I was able to see first-hand the energy and passion that goes into this project. We personally welcomed more than 25 members of Team Rynkeby Nieder-Olm and provided them with finger food and some BENEO gadgets such as sports drink bottles and quick-drying towels.

The visit to Offstein provided the perfect opportunity for the riders to share their experiences with the sports drink containing Palatinose™ and the effects it had on their performance. Many told us that they could clearly feel the positive effect in their legs, and how Palatinose™ had a noticeably positive impact on their endurance.

Palatinose™: A “Secret Weapon” for Achieving Goals.

Thorsten Froehlich, Director Controlling of Eckes-Granini Group GmbH and Team Manager of Team Rynkeby Nieder-Olm, Germany told us: “I first came into contact with Palatinose™ in 2019. Our R&D team had developed a sports drink with it, which really helped me to get through the first tour to Paris in good shape. Performance remains high for longer and the horror of hunger pangs is gone. Personally, at first I did not believe that there was a difference between this and traditional ‘fast’ carbohydrates. But I’ve learnt my lesson and meanwhile I don’t want to do without it – especially when it comes to peak performance over several days.”

Palatinose™ helps us get to Paris. It gives us that extra “kick” in the legs. That means when the legs get tired after maybe three kilometres on the mountain, then there’s the extra kick from the Palatinose™ and that’s really super!

Thorsten Froehlich, Team Manager

Palatinose™, the slow-release carbohydrate developed by BENEO, according to Doris Nimmerfroh, Head of the Team Rynkeby Nieder-Olm Support Team, is virtually the “secret weapon” that helped Team Rynkeby achieve its goal again this year.

Conclusion: A journey with an impact.

We are inspired by the passion and energy each Team Rynkeby volunteer puts into their work and how hard they work towards their goal. We are also deeply impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants and are proud to be a small part of this initiative in the fight against childhood cancer. It fits perfectly with our corporate philosophy and we believe it makes an important contribution to society. In addition, we are proud that our Palatinose™, a unique source of carbohydrate energy, has now become an integral part of the nutritional concept for the cyclists before and during the tour as a “secret weapon” and that we have contributed with our product to Team Rynkeby being able to arrive in Paris healthy and strengthened again this year.

Overall, our involvement with Team Rynkeby has been a positive experience that has shown us how much you can achieve when you work together for a cause. We are glad to be part of this great organisation and who knows, maybe the Team Rynkeby sports drink containing Palatinose™ will make it onto supermarket shelves in a consumer-friendly format one day so that all amateur athletes can benefit from it…

©Team Rynkeby 2022

On the day of arrival in Paris, Team Rynkeby posted the following on Instagram:
Hello from Paris! What an unforgettable week on the bike! 🚴‍♂️💫 Together we arrived in Paris, as a strong team. Together we sweated, fought and laughed. We grew together and did great things for the German @ChildrenCancerFoundation in the process. 🎗️ Here in Paris, together with all 64 Rynkeby teams, we were warmly welcomed by friends and family. A goosebump moment that touched everyone deeply. ❤️ While some of us will stay here for a few more days, others are already heading home today. But one thing is certain: we will never forget this week! 🌟 Thank you to everyone who supported, donated and cheered us on. Together we made a difference and gave hope. Let’s keep fighting and raising awareness for kids with cancer. 🙏💛

We couldn’t have said it any better…


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