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First Endurance x Best Buddies
Where sport meets service
We’re pleased to announce that First Endurance is providing nutrition and supplement support for Best Buddies Racing. Given our longstanding relationship with many of the team’s riders – including Daniel Estevez and Rubén Companioni – the move makes professional sense. It also doesn’t hurt that Best Buddies International, the team’s title sponsor, is a great organization to support.
Work that matters
Best Buddies International describes itself as “the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
This work involves connecting volunteers to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in meaningful one-to-one friendships, helping individuals develop professional opportunities, independent living situations, and communication skills for self advocacy – in short, finding fulfillment as valuable members of society.
Photo Credit: Matt Roy
Supporting the mission
On the racing side, the partnership is about raising funds and awareness for Best Buddies. The team does that by racing – and, of course, getting results. That’s obviously where we come in, supporting the team’s mission of inclusion by supporting their nutritional needs on the bike.
“The team contacted us for endurance nutrition because they wanted access to the best products available,” said Mike Fogarty, Founder & CEO at First Endurance, of the partnership. “It’s a good fit, because a number of the riders and staff at the Best Buddies team have already been using the First Endurance line, but also because we are strong believers in their mission.”
As mentioned above, those riders include Danny Estevez, the 2021 USA Elite Road Race and Criterium National Champion, and Rubén Companioni, whose path to pro cycling began in Cuba, involved a defection in Canada, and ended with him on the Pro-Conti circuit.
History with First Endurance
Rubén – who has claimed podiums and wins from Costa Rica to the Tour de Beauce, with Redlands and Utah in between – has been a First Endurance adherent since he first started racing outside of Cuba.
“First Endurance was recommended to me when I arrived in 2012,” he told us, crediting an LBS owner in Florida for the introduction. “Then, I started in the Jamis team and I saw that all the teammates used it.” Eventually, we got to know Rubén officially through a sponsorship with Holowesko in 2017.
Danny also became a proponent of First Endurance early in his racing career. Very early. “I was first introduced to First Endurance when I was a junior back in 2007 at a Hot Tubes Development Cycling team camp,” he told us. He’s been a fan of the brand ever since, crediting OptygenHP and Ultragen as two of his staples.
Photo Credit: Matt Roy
Pro input & feedback
Prior to this new FE x BB collaboration, both Rubén and Danny have been buying their own First Endurance product, so they’ve effectively been field-testing for us all along. We’re eager to put their knowledge of the FE system and expertise as elite endurance athletes to work.
“We already have a number of new projects planned for 2022,” said Luke Bucci, Chief Scientific officer at First Endurance. “The riders and staff of the Best Buddies team will help our research and development team continue to push the limits of endurance performance.”
Mike Fogarty agreed, concluding that “these guys understand the dramatic effect nutrition and supplementation can have on performance. They race their bikes at the top level of the sport, and they know how critical it is to make sure their nutritional needs are being met.”