Bart Classens tames rain-shortened High Mountain Queen Stage

The unexpected change of weather conditions in the final part of the stage forced the organizers to neutralize the Queen Stage at km 84. The Dutchman won over Felix Frtizsch, the new overall leader after Ilias Periklis retired. Naima Diesner gets closer to the final victory

Credits: Marius Holler / The Outdoor Lab

A heavy storm affected the “High Mountain Queen Stage”, the most awaited stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2021, on Thursday, September 16th. The rain took the spotlight in this stage, initially of 98 km and neutralized at km 84 on the Pradarena Pass, due to a violent cloudburst hitting the finish line of Cerreto Laghi. The weather, expected to improve by the time of arrival, played a bad joke to the Appenninica family. 

To guarantee the safety of all athletes, Appenninica MTB Stage Race organizers Beppe Salerno and Milena Bettocchi, decided to shorten the race when the weather situation got worse in the final part of the race: “The riders’ safety is always our priority – said the OC -. When things got worse, we took a tough decision but the most responsible one.

The fight for the final victory was shaken up, as the race lost two standout protagonists after 30 km due to the cold: Milton Ramos, winner in Fanano, and GC leader Ilias Periklis, who had already won two stages. The Greek of the DMT Racing Team opted to put his foot down to preserve his form for the upcoming MTB Marathon World Championships on next October 2nd.

A heroic Bart Classens was able to tame the rain, winning in in 4:49:00 and gaining 12 minutes on new overall leader Felix Fritzsch. The German is back in the blue jersey with 6:36 on the Dutchman. Italy’s Elia Taverna, who rode all week in the top poisitions, arrived with 17 minutes of delay from today’s winner and he’s now 33:26 behind Fritzsch

It was a crazy stage, but with this weather very similar to my Netherlands, and I git hyped – commented stage winner Bart Classens – On the first climb I was together with Ilias (Periklis) but I didn’t see him quitting the race. At the second feed zone I lost sight on Felix Fritzsch so I went at my own pace. In these situations if you slow down you just feel colder, anyway I didn’t realize I had won”.


Credits: Marius Holler / The Outdoor Lab


Naima Diesner got even closer to the final victory in the women’s category. The German arrived at km 84 after 6 hours and 28 minutes, beating Virginia Cancellieri by 23 minutes. The Italian athlete couldn’t keep up from the early kilometers, and saw her overall chances fade, now with 39:41 to recover. Austrian Evelyn Sulzer has confirmed her third position, paying 29 minutes on the finish line, and now with an over one-hour delay.

Credits: Marius Holler / The Outdoor Lab


After the “High Mountain Queen Stage” which shook up the general classification, the race resumes on Friday, September 17th, towards Castelnovo ne’ Monti. After the departure from the ski resort of Cerreto Laghi, the athletes will face 65 km and 2050 meters of total elevation gain for a stage completely charted inside the Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco Emiliano, Unesco MAB Reserve.

The “Park & Roll” stage runs along the Pranda Lake in the initial part, then up to the Pradarena Pass. After the descent towards the Collagna Valley, the race climbs again through the Parmigiano Reggiano mountain pastures. After the Pratizzano Pass, the athletes will reach Lake Calamone, before tackling the final kilometres to the finish line, in the Cervarezza Bike Park.

Credits: Marius Holler / The Outdoor Lab

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