The Colombian racer of the Hubbers-Polimedical team managed the High Mountain Queen Stage’s 105 kilometers and overtook Felix Fritzsch on the final climb. Francisco Filipe consolidated third place. Naima Diesner is increasingly the queen among the women
In keeping with tradition at the Appenninica MTB Stage Race, today’s stage was the most eagerly awaited one and it did not disappoint. The High Mountain Queen Stage took place on Tuesday, September 6, and named its winners: Diego Arias and Naima Diesner. The two general classification leaders confirmed their supremacy along the 105-kilometer route from Castelnovo ne’ Monti to Fanano with a punishing 3650 meters of climbing.
Unlike in the first two stages, Diego Arias decided to control the long kilometers by waiting until the race’s end to launch the winning attack. In fact, it was only on the final climb to Pian Cavallaro where the Colombian racer of the Hubbers-Polimedical team was able to free himself of Francisco Filipe (DMT Racing Team) and Felix Fritzsch (R2 MTN CREW) to arrive at the finish in Fanano with a time of 5:22:46, just 59 seconds ahead of his German rival and 5:14 ahead of the Portuguese racer.
The three riders led the entire race by setting a blistering pace from the day’s first climb toward the Passo della Cisa. It was only near the end when the trio splintered on the final ascent, where Diego Arias ramped up his pace and shook off Francisco Filipe halfway up the climb. Felix Fritzsch continued to nip at his wheels until Fritzsch surrendered just before the descent. The Colombian racer took control of the situation on the technical descent and rode cautiously to avoid unnecessary risks.
The Hubbers-Polimedical rider further consolidated his lead by stretching his time gap with Francisco Filipe to 13:35, while the German winner of last year’s edition is only 57″ from second place.
“We all maintained a consistent pace because it was a long stage; it seemed endless. On the last climb I went at my own pace and made a move, then controlled the final descent, which was very technical. I am really enjoying the Appenninica MTB Stage Race, I think it’s a very good training race in view of the MTB marathon world championships,” said Arias.
NAIMA DIESNER IS QUEEN IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Naima Diesner’s smile continued to light up the women’s race. The German racer is now on her way to an encore performance after her success in 2021 by claiming victory in today’s High Mountain Queen Stage. She stopped the clock at 7:34:45 at the finish in Fanano. From the start the Buff-Megamo team athlete created a vacuum behind her and won by 17:25 ahead of Camilla Marinelli.
After a disappointing second stage, Debora Lana (Bike and Fun Team) returned to the podium today by finishing just over half an hour behind the winner. The Italian racer had to cede second place in the general classification to her compatriot, Camilla Marinelli, who piled on more than an hour in time different from the winner, while fourth-place Elena Novikova lost more ground in the fight for the podium.
“It was a wonderful stage and, unlike last year, it wasn’t rainy, we were able to admire some beautiful landscapes. I really enjoyed it,” Naima Diesner commented at the finish in Fanano.
PURE FUN WITH PIPPO YEAH 2.0 IN FANANO
After the efforts in the High Mountain Queen Stage, it’s time for some fun in Fanano with the stage designed by Pierpaolo “Pippo” Marani. The stage is 55 kilometers with 2200 meters of elevation gain with start and finish in Piazza Corsini.
The “Pippo Yeah 2.0” starts immediately with a 14-kilometer climb to the Passo del Colombino before a singletrack descent to Ospitale. From there the route climbs toward the Passo della Croce Arcana to tackle a stretch on the most famous ridge in the Apennines before the final 18-kilometer run with 15 single track sections to finish in Fanano.