The two overall victors also took the last stage starting and finishing in Vidiciatico, in the municipality of Lizzano in Belvedere. There were ninety-six finishers in an exciting edition experienced by athletes from 28 nations who came to discover the Apennines of Emilia-Romagna
They were the strongest racers all week and they wanted to punctuate this fact in the final stage as well. The 37-kilometer stage featured 1550 meters of climbing with start and finish from Vidiciatico in the municipality of Lizzano in Belvedere. The fourth edition of 2022 Appenninica MTB Stage Race ended on Saturday, September 10. Diego Arias and Naima Diesner were the winners.
The Colombian racer from the Hubbers-Polimedical team started out as a race favorite and he proved to be the strongest each day. This was true in the seventh stage as well, which Arias finished in 1:56:13. The general classification leader wanted to make his mark from the start by forging a white-hot pace on the trails of Monte Pizzo. Miguel Munoz Moreno (DMT Racing Team) finished 3:57 behind the leader with Felix Fritzsch down by 5:50 from Arias.
Arias’ debut at Appenninica was crowned with five stage wins and the victory in the general classification. The Colombian racer finished all seven stages totaling almost 450 kilometers with 16,000 meters of climbing in 22:05:11. Behind him were the two DMT Racing Team riders, with Portugal’s Francisco Filipe in second at 34:42, and Spain’s Miguel Munoz Moreno in third at 1:08:05. Completing the top five spots at the 2022 Appenninica were Dutchman Gosse van der Meer (Euro Cycling) in fourth, and Federico Mandelli (Piraz Coaching MTB Academy) in fifth. Mandelli was also the first Italian in the GC.
“I came out of the 2022 Appenninica MTB Stage Race with good legs, I managed the race well during all seven stages. It was a very nice week in a fantastic area with a mixed course full of climbs. I’m happy to have had this experience and next year, I hope to come back and defend the title. Now I head to the MTB marathon world championships – I think there’s no better preparation for the rainbow challenge,” was Diego Arias’ final comment after winning.
NAIMA DIESNER TAKES THE TITLE
Having beaten the competition last year, Naima Diesner came back to prove herself in the 2022 edition. Diesner won the women’s general classification for the second consecutive year – this time leaving nothing to her rivals. Having won all seven stages like Esther Süss did in 2020, she finished her effort with a final time of 30:48:27.
Diesner also won the final stage in 2:45:42, with a margin of 12:31 over Debora Lana and 20:51 over Camilla Marinelli at the finish in Lizzano in Belvedere. The two Italians also finished second and third respectively in the general classification with more than an hour down from the German BUFF-Megamo racer. Completing the women’s top five were Elena Novikova in fourth place, and Rozanne Slik in fifth.
“It was a wonderful adventure again this year, I am delighted to have won. For me the Appenninica MTB Stage Race is like a family, I love the atmosphere of friendship after the hard work in the stages, it makes me feel at home. I can’t wait to come back again next year,” Naima Diesner said as she finished the week as the absolute star.
ALL CLASSIFICATIONS: MASTER, GRAND MASTER, GREAT GRAND MASTER
Not only was there a race for the men’s and women’s rankings in the GC, the Appenninica MTB Stage Race was also a week of battles in three other race categories: Master (over 40), Grand Master (over 50), and Great Grand Master (over 60).
In the Masters, the overall winner was the Russian Andrey Dianov ahead of Francesco Gaffuri and Thomas Jauner. Winning the Grand Master category was Slovenia’s Peter Vesel, while Italians Paolo Viglione and Federico Celeghini completed the podium in second and third place. There was another Slovenian victory in the Great Grand Master category, where Aleš Boben won ahead of Evžen Reitschläger and Raffaele Verzella.
96 FINISHERS AND A WORLD SPOTLIGHT FOR THE EMILIA-ROMAGNA APENNINES
With 28 nations represented at the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, Appenninica made a name for itself as the perfect promotional event for the Apennines of Emilia-Romagna. Participants will remember the picturesque landscapes and regional culinary delights worthy of a postcard that have become the winning formula to grow the event year after year.
“Once again this year, we’ve managed to satisfy the participants, which confirms the good work we’ve done over the past few years. The Appenninica MTB Stage Race is increasingly recognized and valued at an international level – this is also thanks to the experience as expressed by past participants. The goal is to continue along this path by offering a race that is increasingly a mix of competition and adventure – a tough and demanding challenge to be experienced immersed in the beauty of the Apennines of Emilia-Romagna,” was the final word from co-organizers of A.s.d. Happy Trail MTB, Beppe Salerno and Milena Bettocchi.