104 Km and 3600 mt. D+: Appenninica’s Queen Stage is the ultimate test of truth

In the fourth edition of Appenninica (4-10 September 2022), the 104 Km and 3600 metres of elevation gain of the High Mountain Queen Stage’ from Castelnovo ne’ Monti to Fanano might be the turning point of the race on day 3, Tuesday, September 6th

With its 440 km and 16,000 metres of elevation gain spread over seven days (September 4th-10th, 2022), up and down the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, Appenninica MTB Stage Race poses plenty of challenges on the way of its participants. However, those who have already taken part in the spectacular Italian MTB stage race and those who dream of doing it soon know that there is always a day to be circled in red: the High Mountain Queen Stage.

The stage race scheduled in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines will reverse course this year, starting from Castelnovo ne’ Monti and ending in Lizzano in Belvedere, but the format will remain unchanged, with its unique mix of tough and exciting challenges, trails in the wilderness, and incomparable scenery. This year, the most challenging test will come on the third day, Tuesday, September 6th, 2022, when the Queen Stage of the 2022 edition is scheduled, starting from Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) and arriving in Fanano (Modena).

Compared to the past, the athletes will be fresher to tackle the 104 km and 3600 metres of elevation gain, but there will certainly be no shortage of thrills, starting with the spectacular views of a route almost entirely above 1,500 metres in altitude. A large part of the route follows the Alta via dei Parchi along ancient military mule tracks and trade routes such as the ancient via Vandelli, which connected Modena to Massa Carrara from the 18th century onwards.

At the start, there will be time for a final salute to the Bismantova Rock before crossing the Secchia river and beginning the first long ascent of the day (20 km and 1000 metres of elevation gain). A forest road will lead to the Cisa Pass and the “Alta Tensione” trail, eventually reaching the Monte Cusna area.

From Febbio, a new climb on forest roads will take the bikers to the summit of the Monte Giovarello (1760 m a.s.l.), from where, with favourable weather conditions, the entire Po Valley and beyond to the Tuscan coast can be seen. After reaching the Passo Radici, the route will go down in altitude, alternating forest roads and short single tracks up to the village of Pievepelago. Here the athletes will be able to catch their breath on the 10 km of asphalt road that will lead to Fiumalbo, where the climbing will start again.

A 10 km forest road and 1000 metres of altitude difference will take the athletes to Pian Cavallaro (1850 m a.s.l.) at the foot of Monte Cimone. There will only be 15 km left to the finish in Fanano, to be raced on pleasant forestry descents and short single-track sections. The first competitors will reach Piazza Corsini after 5 hours and 30 minutes: on such a day there’s nowhere to hide, and the general classification could be significantly reshaped.

“It is a Queen Stage in pure Appenninica style. The bikers will face ‘wild’ trails and unspoilt landscapes, on a selective – but also flowy – route that will cross some of the best-known areas of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, such as Monte Cusna and Monte Cimone”, explained Beppe Salerno and Milena Bettocchi, the co-organizers of Appenninica MTB Stage Race.

The Appenninici – Lillo Lenzi, in love with the Apennines

Among the protagonists of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race are many stories of sports and life. Lillo Lenzi, who took part in the 2023 edition at the age of 70, fulfilled his ambition to complete the adventure on the trails of Emilia-Romagna’s Apennines, which have been his home for many years

The Appenninici – From rugby to mountain biking: the unique journey of Sophie Halhead

Among the protagonists of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race many stories of sport and life can be found. Sophie Halhead, who made her second experience in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines in 2023 after taking part in the debut edition, recounts her transition from rugby to the world of mountain biking.

Third time’s the charm: Hans Becking returns to Appenninica for the hat trick

First Elite Man to win two editions of Appenninica MTB Stage Race, the Dutch defending champion of BUFF-Megamo will go for the hat trick from September 2 to 7, 2024. “This race has won my heart,” says Becking.

The Appenninica 2024 route: kicking off in Bologna with 14,000 meters of elevation gain

The organizers have unveiled the route for the MTB stage race, scheduled from September 2 to 7. Confirmed stage venues include Lizzano in Belvedere, Fiumalbo, and Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the grand finale, with Loiano making its debut this year. Participants will face a total of 400 km and 14,000 meters of elevation gain

The Appenninici – An Olympic champion discovers Appenninica

Among the protagonists of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race are many stories of sport and life. Miguel Martinez, Mountain Biking gold medallist at Sydney 2000, participated in the 2023 edition and was impressed by the routes and landscapes of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines and the familiar atmosphere of the race

From Tour the France to the MTB: Appenninica 2024 to kick off in Bologna

The main town of Emilia-Romagna is poised to inaugurate the sixth edition of Appenninica MTB Stage Race on September 2, 2024. Bathed in the afterglow of the Tour de France’s visit in July, the MTB challenge is set to bring more cycling emotions to the city

Appenninica MTB Stage Race Adventure Returns from September 2 to 7, 2024

The renowned MTB stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines confirms its six-day format, announcing its schedule for the 2024 season. Early Bird registration commences on December 1

Becking and Piana conquer Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023

The Dutch rider of Buff-Megamo is the first male athlete to win two editions of Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Becking sealed the overall win by raising arms again in the last stage, followed by Tiago Ferreira and Tim Smeenge, who join him on the podium in second and third position respectively. Debora Piana takes the women’s GC, while Ilina triumphs again in Vidiciatico. “We are really proud of the athletes’ feedback” said the organizers

Happy day for DMT Racing Team in Vidiciatico. Becking and Piana keep the lead

Tiago Ferreira went all-in in the penultimate stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race from Fanano to Vidiciatico, trying to pursue the leader’s jersey, but Becking kept everything under control. Same plot in the women’s category, with Russian Kristina Ilina taking her second win and Piana in control

Appenninica’s colour is Orange: Smeenge and Becking the stars of stage 4

The Dutch MTB Marathon National champion raises hands in Fanano, while Becking increases his gap in the GC on Tiago Ferreira. Debora Piana keeps dominating and makes it three in a row. Tomorrow, September 8th, the penultimate stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023 runs from Fanano to Lizzano in Belvedere

Becking and Piana strenghten their lead in Fiumalbo

The two leaders got the second win at Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023. The Dutch rider of Buff-Megamo Team sprinted over Tiago Ferreira, while things are getting spicy for the bronze medal, with four riders fighting for the third position. In the women’s field, the Italian of Team Cingolani-Specialized secured the leader jersey with another success in Fiumalbo over Ilina. Tomorrow, September 7th, the peloton heads to Fanano

Ferreira and Piana tame the Mountain Queen Stage

The Portuguese athlete of DMT Racing Team answered back to Becking’s success in the opening stage, while Tronconi and Smeenge remain in contention behind them. Debora Piana took the win and the lead in the women’s category. Tomorrow, September 6th, marks the first-ever border crossing from Emilia-Romagna to Tuscany for the race, with the stage starting and finishing again in Fiumalbo