The Dutch domination continues at Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023: the Orange patrol keeps raking both in the GC and in the single stage finishes. Out if its 33 riders in the race (the Netherlands are the most represented Country at Appenninica 2023), it was Tim Smeenge to take the win today, September 7th, from Fiumalbo to Fanano. The Dutch MTB Marathon National Champion sprinted over GC leader Hans Becking, who managed to extend his lead on his closest rival, Tiago Ferreira.
On the 59 km with 2350 m of elevation gain of the “Cimone Challenge”, winding through the ski area of Mount Cimone, the Dutch duo arrived together in the heart of Fanano. Smeenge started to push from the very beginning followed by Tiago Ferreira, while Becking chose not to elevate his pace and kept going with his own rhythm. With the kilometers going by, the Portuguese of DMT Racing Team lost track of Smeenge, while Becking made his way back and finished together with Smeenge.
On the finish line in Fanano, Smeenge stopped the time in 2:58:01, right in front of the Buff-Megamo Team rider, while Ferreira reported a 7:19 gap. Rounding out the top 5 were Felix Fritzsch and Bart Classens. In the General Classification, Becking extended his lead to 9:38 over Ferreira, with Smeenge solid third (25:44) over Bart Classens (38:41) and Lukas Kaufmann (42:43).
“I’m very satisfied with my race and my day: it was nice to win and to extend the gap over Bart Classens, to secure the third place. I felt great from the beginning, and after the first climb I already had some cushion. I kept going with my pace until the second descent, when Becking got back and we rode together until the finish line”, said Smeenge on the finish line.
DEBORA PIANA MAKES THE HAT-TRICK
Debora Piana of Team Cingolani-Specialized takes the third consecutive win at Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023. The Italian took off in the first kilometres of stage 4 and on the first climb went already out of reach for all her opponents. Behind her were once again Russian Kristina Ilina and Swiss Nina Brenn.
It took 3:49:01 for Debora Piana to complete the stage from Fiumalbo to Fanano: in the GC, the lead is now of 42:37 on Ilina, and of over two hours on Nina Brenn.
“I was in the front in no time, and this has allowed me to control the pace for the rest of the stage. I’m now in a great position: I think I can manage my gap on the second place without taking unnecessary risks in the last two stages”, commented Piana in Fanano.
“APPENNINICA DISTILLED” TO KEEP THE GAMES OPEN
The penultimate stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023 will be held tomorrow, September 8th, over 61 km and 2500 m of elevation gain from Fanano to Vidiciatico, hamlet of Lizzano in Belvedere. “Appenninica Distilled” combines technical and fun trails, probably the last chance to keep the race open for the GC. The Colombino Pass and the Croce Arcana Pass are the two climbs of the day, followed by single track downhills in the Corno alle Scale area, are the most challenging traits of stage 5.