Bismantova Rock: from Dante’s Purgatory to the Appenninica Paradise

Star of the final “Purgatory” stage of the 2021 Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2021, the Bismantova Rock inspired the Purgatory of Dante, whose National Day is celebrated on March 25th 

The Outdoor Lab

During the last stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2021, on Saturday, September 18th, the bikers will face the Bismantova Rock before reaching the “Paradise” of sporting glory, putting on the cherished and hard-earned finisher’s medal. 

A symbol of Appenninica, the Bismantova Rock has also become an icon thanks to the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, the Florentine poet whose 700th anniversary of death will be celebrated in 2021. Through the Italian Ministry of Culture’s initiative, on Thursday, March 25th, 2021, the whole Country will celebrate the DanteDì, the National Day dedicated to Dante, recognized as the father of the Italian language. After his exile from Florence, the “Sommo Poeta” crossed the paths and trails of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines several times on his pilgrimage, seeking inspiration and inner peace. According to the tradition, the Bismantova Rock, with its imposing figure, inspired him to imagine his Purgatory.

The historical data confirm the legend, since Dante visited the area surrounding Castelnovo ne’ Monti in 1306, during his journey from Lunigiana to Padua. In addition to this historical evidence, Dante mentioned the Bismantova Rock in Canto IV of the Purgatory:

«Vassi in Sanleo e discendesi in Noli,

montasi su Bismantova e ‘n Cacume

con esso i piè; ma qui convien ch’om voli;

dico con l’ale snelle e con le piume

del gran disio, di retro a quel condotto

che speranza mi dava e facea lume»

(Dante, Purgatorio, canto IV, vv. 25-30)

Dante’s presence in Emilia-Romagna is also testified by the Sommo Poeta’s grave in Ravenna, where he took refuge in his elderly years. With a trail network of around 370-380 km, also accessible by mountain bike, the Cammino di Dante (Dante’s path) connects Ravenna to Florence while immersing in the Apennines beauty in a cultural, historical and natural journey full of emotions. The same as the Appenninica route, a perfect synthesis of Dante’s journey through the Apennines’ obscure woods, the challenging climbs of its peaks and the uncontaminated paradises of high-altitude landscapes. 

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

Becking and Ilina secure victory in the opening act of Appenninica 2023

The Dutch rider from Team Buff-Megamo the Russian of DMT Racing Team have made an impact on the inaugural stage of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Completing the men’s podium were Tiago Ferreira and Martino Tronconi, while Debora Piana and Nina Brenn claimed spots on the women’s top-3. Tomorrow, September 5th, comes the anticipated Queen Stage

Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the Bismantova Rock welcome back the Appenninica show

The program of the MTB stage race (4-9 September) was anticipated by the “Appenninica lovers” Granfondo. Starting from tomorrow, the main event will kick off with Hans Becking and Tiago Ferreira leading the title race, while Naima Diesner emerges as the top contender in the Women’s field

With 150 riders from all continents, the Appenninica challenge goes global

Approaching its fifth edition (September 4-9, 2023), Appenninica MTB Stage Race – the mountain bike stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, Italy – is set to showcase 150 athletes hailing from 24 Nations, marking a sold-out status. This year, the event introduces an innovative initiative: Appenninica Teen Camp

Miguel Martinez leads the charge of “The Appenninici”

Cross-country gold medalist from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Miguel Martinez, is set to kick off the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race (September 4-9, 2023). A multitude of riders will converge for this stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, seeking a distinctive adventure filled with a treasure trove of stories and anecdotes.

Riders bulletin n.6/2023

Riders bulletin n.6 August 29, 2023   This is the sixth rider bulletin. These bulletins will provide useful information, news, and mandatory action reminders. Race time is Sunday!   The starting list is on the website. Click here. The event is sold out....

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race partners’ squad keeps growing stronger

In its fifth edition, scheduled from September 4th to 9th, the race has further stocked its partners’ panel: a testament to the event’s rise towards international prominence, while keeping deep roots in its territory

Debora Piana and Kristina Ilina challenge Naima Diesner for Appenninica throne

The German, winner of the last two editions, will be the athlete to beat at the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race (Sept. 4-9), but the Italian rider and the Russian national champion will be upfront to try to spoil her plans