Ferreira and Piana tame the Mountain Queen Stage

They were expected to be the strongest riders of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023, and they are showing it day after day. Tiago Ferreira took the win of the Mountain Queen Stage, sprinting past the GC leader and winner of the opening stage, Hans Becking.

The second episode of Appenninica 2023 took place today, September 5th, starting from Castelnovo ne’ Monti and finishing in Fiumalbo. The 90 km and 3200 m of elevation gain were still not enough to determine who is the fastest among the two former teammates: the DMT Racing Team athlete took the win, but the Dutchman of Buff-Megamo Team crossed the finish line with the same time, keeping his leadership untouched.

As it happened in stage 1, Becking and Ferreira set the tone together with Tronconi and Smeenge. The strong group of escapees quickly took off and created a gap on the Cisa Pass and the Radici Pass. At around km 70, Becking tried to push and get another solo win, but Ferreira kept the pace and secured the win in the final sprint in Piazza Umberto I, in the heart of Fiumalbo. The Portuguese rider completed the Queen Stage in 4:27:18, immediately followed by Becking.

Third place went to the Dutch National MTB Marathon champion Tim Smeenge, with a gap of 2’31”, the same as Italian Martino Tronconi. Fifth place was claimed by Felix Fritzsch, 6’02” behind the winner. In the GC, Becking maintains the lead with 2’19” over Ferreira, 6’14” over Tronconi, 15’04” over Tim Smeenge, and 21:34 over Felix Fritzsch.

It was a long stage with challenging climbs. We escaped with a small group and stayed together for most of the stage, until Hans tried to force the pace with 15 km to go, and on the Radici Pass, we were alone in the lead. It is an important win for me personally, as it allows me to increase the gap with the third position and keep Becking in sight. Today was a good day, but there are still four days to go, and a lot can happen,” argued Ferreira at the end.

Deborah Piana

DEBORA PIANA STRIKES BACK

After being the runner-up in the opening stage yesterday, September 4th, she had promised to come back and try to take the win in the toughest stage of the race. Debora Piana proved to be true to her word, and after a solid performance throughout the whole Queen Stage, she could raise her arms solo in Fiumalbo. Russian Kristina Ilina, the winner of stage 1, didn’t have her best day on the bike and secured a second position, but was far behind the new GC leader.

Indeed, the Italian rider of Team Cingolani Specialized managed to escape immediately and didn’t look back, calling it a day after 5:13:41. Behind her were Ilina, 26’36” late, and Nina Brenn, once again in the third position with a gap of 50’42”. Piana now leads in the women’s ranking with 26’09″ on Ilina, while Brenn has over one hour of delay.

It was a great race day for me, both on the bike and with these landscapes. I felt good and after the first Feed Zone, I tried to push on the climb: Ilina didn’t follow, and then I just kept going strong to increase the gap. Now it is crucial to get the energies back and focus on the next four stages, which are still very challenging,” commented Debora Piana.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Tomorrow, September 6th, will be a historical day for the Appenninica MTB Stage Race, as the route will cross the border with Tuscany for the first time ever. The “Tuscany Incipit” is a loop of 79 km and 2550 m of elevation gain, with the start and finish in Fiumalbo, winding through the natural beauties of the Abetone Bike Park.

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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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Becking and Piana strenghten their lead in Fiumalbo

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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

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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

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