For the fourth time, Mia Augustsson – an employee at TST Sweden – is cycling 1 267 kilometers from Borås Sweden to Paris France, with Team Rynkeby Sjuhärad in support of the Childhood Cancer Foundation. TST Sweden is a Gold Sponsor of Team Rynkeby, for the fourth year in a row, actively supporting children with critical illnesses.
Team Rynkeby is Europe’s largest international charity cycling team, raising funds for children with critical illnesses. In Sweden, Team Rynkeby supports the Childhood Cancer Foundation, and through Team Rynkeby Skolloppet, they also support the Children’s Brain Foundation, which is part of the Brain Foundation, with a focus on funding vital research on the children’s brain.
The initiative originated in 2001 at Rynkeby Foods in Denmark when an employee decided to cycle for personal health reasons. He managed to rally ten colleagues to join him.
The following year, they cycled 1 200 kilometers from Ringe to Paris and received 70,000 DKK from their employer to kick-start the project. The remaining funds (53,900 DKK) were donated to the pediatric cancer department at Odense University Hospital. This marked the beginning of the charity project that now engages 2026 cyclists and 538 service participants, distributed among 64 teams from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. In Sweden, approximately 600 individuals contribute to fundraising efforts in support of the Childhood Cancer Foundation.
To highlight the project, Team Rynkeby participants annually cycle to Paris. However, their real goal is not Paris, but the eradication of childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is a highly serious illness, and despite significant advancements in research in recent years, the disease remains the leading cause of disease-related deaths among children aged 1–15 years.
This year, Team Rynkeby is specifically raising funds for clinical research and research on late complications for the Childhood Cancer Foundation. Over 3 000 participants from across Europe will join the cause this summer, and Team Rynkeby Sjuhärad is one of the 17 Swedish teams taking part. One of the participants is Mia Augustsson, an employee at TST Sweden. This is not her first time cycling to Paris with Team Rynkeby Sjuhärad, she has completed this route three times before.
Over the years, TST Sweden has had a strong commitment to supporting local sports clubs as well as charity organizations. This year marks the fourth consecutive year that TST Sweden is the Gold Sponsor of Team Rynkeby Sjuhärad.
“Team Rynkeby has an outstanding mission, that involves and engages many people. Through hard work and a strong will, they collect significant sums for research, while challenging themselves on the bike ride of a lifetime. For us at TST, it’s natural to participate in both local and international charity contexts that help sick, weak, or vulnerable individuals,” says Jörgen Lillieroth, Founder and Managing director of TST Sweden.
It was through the sponsorship that Mia first learned about TST Sweden, and ultimately applied for the position she has held for the past year.
“I wasn’t planning on cycling this year, but since I work at our Gold Sponsor TST Sweden, I felt that I wanted to participate for a fourth time,” says Mia Augustsson. “I’m really proud of being part of the TST team and to have TST as a dedicated Gold Sponsor of Team Rynkeby year after year.”
The cyclists cover all their expenses and take responsibility for raising funds for severely ill children by contacting companies for sponsorships, and by working voluntarily to collect donations.
Since the beginning of 2001, Team Rynkeby has raised a total of 862 million SEK, with 266 million SEK collected through Team Rynkeby Sweden, making them the largest contributor to the Childhood Cancer Foundation. This has resulted in an 85% survival rate for children diagnosed with cancer today. However, Team Rynkeby’s vision is for all children affected by cancer to not just survive but to live cancer-free. In 2022, Team Rynkeby raised 112 million SEK, of which 35 million SEK was collected in Sweden, equivalent to almost 40 years of research hours.
“I really hope that we can maintain that level of fundraising this year as well, despite the economic downturn and the global situation,” says Mia Augustsson.
In preparation for this year’s race, Mia has warmed up by cycling 2 500 kilometers. She shares her love for cycling and highlights the unbeatable combination of training and contributing to a good cause that Team Rynkeby provides.
“Not only do I get to exercise, but I also get to contribute to something good and get to know new people. In my team this year, we have nineteen cyclists and six service participants, including both women and men, with a wide age range from 22 to 68,” says Mia Augustsson.
Mia feels a mixture of nerves and anticipation for the race. She’s looking forward to enjoying the beautiful views, especially in the Moselle Valley and the Champagne region, and seeing the supporters along the way. To cope with the heat, Mia plans to stay hydrated, and start early in the morning before the heat becomes too intense. TST Sweden’s Cooling Vest will also help cool the cyclists during breaks, helping them avoid heat stress.
“It’s a tough challenge with many meters of altitude, heat, and above all the endurance to complete the very long distance,” says Mia Augustsson.
For practical and safety reasons, each team follows individual routes and only reunites on the final stage in Paris. Road safety is of utmost importance.
“The more experienced cyclists take care of the beginners, but we also have guidelines and manuals on how to ride safely. Cities pose higher risks, so we choose smaller roads whenever possible,” says Mia Augustsson.
The team is accompanied by a car borne service crew that assists with breakfast and lunch preparations, as well as two mechanics that handles punctures and bike malfunctions. The service car is equipped with a warning sign and lights to alert motorists to the presence of cyclists. There’s also a medical coordinator.
After a day of cycling, they gather for “after bike” sessions with snacks, fluids, and bike maintenance to prepare for the following day. In the evenings, they have dinner and review the route and any potential risks for the next day.
The route is divided into eight stages, starting in Borås on July 7th, with a planned finish in Paris on July 15th. The race includes a ferry crossing from Gothenburg to Kiel, traversing northern Germany through the Moselle Valley, continuing into Luxembourg, and finally entering France, where the cyclists pass through the Champagne region. They ultimately reach the finish line at La Villette Prairie du Cercle Sud, where the service teams and supporters await their arrival, offering a warm welcome to the cyclists. Subsequently, the teams usually proceed to the Eiffel Tower, to pose with their bikes in front of the iconic landmark – tired, happy, and proud of their accomplishments.
Now we wish Mia and the rest of the participants in Team Rynkeby the best of luck on their journey! May the yellow heroes successfully raise a significant amount of money that contributes to research eradicating childhood cancer for all future generations.