Arias and Diesner immediately lay down the law at Appenninica

The Colombian racer from Hubbers-Polimedical and the German racer of the Buff-Megamo Team established their presence in the 52-kilometer opening stage with 1800 meters of elevation gain, with start and finish in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, by distancing the duo from the DMT Racing Team in the men’s race, and Debora Lana in the women’s.

They started out as race favorites, and they didn’t disappoint. Diego Arias and Naima Diesner are the winners in the opening stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2022 that took place on SundaySeptember 4, with start and finish from Piazza Gramsci in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia, Italy). The Colombian racer from the Hubbers-Polimedical team and the German racer of the Buff-Megamo Team took the race reins from the very first kilometers by forging a pace that their rivals were compelled to follow.

The 52 kilometers and 1800 meters of elevation gain of “La Matildica” immediately allowed the athletes to sample the challenges of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. After sizing up the race in the opening kilometers, Diego Arias took over the race at kilometer 10 and, meter after meter, increased his lead. Behind him, the DMT Racing team duo of Miguel Munoz Moreno and Francisco Filipe tried to mount a chase.

At the race’s midpoint at Castello di Carpineti, the lead that the Colombian racer from Hubbers-Polimedical had opened up stood at four minutes. Arias drove up the pace to progressively widen the gap to more than seven and a half minutes at kilometer 39. By the finish in Piazza Gramsci, the Colombian had completed the stage in 2:26:16, with a lead of 4:01 over Francisco Filipe and Miguel Munoz Moreno. The DMT duo took advantage of a mistake by Arias in the last ten kilometers to reduce the gap at the finish.

Fourth place went to 2021 defending champion, Felix Fritzsch, who paid a 9:13 time debt to the stage king, while Gosse van der Meer (Euro Cycling) finished fifth at 11:29.

“It was a beautiful but tough day,” Diego Arias said at the finish. “The course was treacherous because of the continuous ups and downs, and it was not easy to find a race rhythm. Hard climbs and beautiful descents were made slippery by yesterday’s rain. I felt good and tried to make a move from the first kilometers by driving the pace. Despite a mistake in the final kilometers, I managed to win the stage with a good lead. I will have to watch out for the duo from the DMT Racing Team, but I will do my best to win this wonderful race.”


The year has changed but not the result for Naima Diesner, who after her success in Piazza Peretti last year has repeated her win in Piazza Gramsci. The German racer from the Buff-Megamo Team laid down the law from the very first kilometers to win with a time of 3:29:12.

By the race’s midpoint, Naima Diesner’s lead over Debora Lana was already more than five minutes, and around eight minutes ahead of Camilla Marinelli. This allowed the German to take command of the second part of the stage, and finish 4:21 ahead of Debora Lana (Bici Scoot). Completing the podium was the other Italian, Camilla Marinelli (ASD Bike and Fun Team), who paid a time debt of 19:53 to the leader at the finish line in Piazza Gramsci. A little further back was Ukraine’s Elena Novikova at 22:00, while Rozanne Slik (Wv Nordholand) arrived as expected in fifth, more than a half an hour down from Diesner.

“I am delighted to be here again,” commented a beaming Naima Diesner after the race. “It’s only the first stage, but it was already a very tricky stage because of the very steep climbs and the mud after yesterday’s rain. It immediately reminded me how beautiful the Apennines are. I already have a good advantage and I hope to manage it during the next stages, which will certainly be more difficult.”


After the opening stage, it will still be a loop around Castelnovo ne’ Monti that will test the athletes in the second stage. With its 62 kilometers and 2,350 meters of elevation gain“The Rock” offers a very fast first part on uphill paths and forest roads until kilometer 25. After passing by Lago Calamone, a climb will take the athletes to the crest of Monte Pastorale, which will lead into a 5-km descent with 700 meters of elevation loss. The finale is a series of ups and downs in the shadow of the Pietra di Bismantova.

The Appenninici – Lillo Lenzi, in love with the Apennines

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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

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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

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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

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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

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