From Castelnovo to Vidiciatico, Appenninica 2023 promises thrills and spills

Organizers have unveiled the route for the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race, scheduled for September 4-9, which features six stages measuring 400 km and 14 thousand meters of elevation gain. In addition to Castelnovo ne’ Monti and Vidiciatico, stage venues include Fanano and the new Fiumalbo

Race organizers have promised that “reducing the format of one stage will not make the race any easier.” This promise has largely been fulfilled, judging from a first look at the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race route.

Riders will have to conquer 400 kilometres and 14,000 meters of climbing over the course of six stages to earn the finisher’s medal of the 2023 edition, scheduled for Sept. 4-9, 2023. The Emilia-Romagna Apennines will be the judges of an epic challenge among enchanted landscapes, Apennine ridges, and beautiful Italian towns.

Same as last year, the stage race will start from Castelnovo ne’ Monti, in the shadow of the Pietra di Bismantova. Returning stage venues include Fanano, a historic passage in the Appenninica MTB Stage Race and Vidiciatico, a hamlet in Lizzano in Belvedere that will host the grand finale, same as it did in 2022. New for 2023 is Fiumalbo, a historic village in the Modena Apennines located on the border with Tuscany.

The new format allows us to spread out the challenges better than in years past. The Queen Stage, scheduled for the second day, is slightly shorter and less challenging than before, but the following two days will compel racers to manage their efforts. The result is a demanding middle part of the race, with 400 kms and 14 thousand meters of total elevation gain,” explained Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno, co-organizers of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race.


The start is set for Monday, September 4, from Castelnovo ne’ Monti with 56 km and 1,800 meters of climbing beginning at the foot of the Pietra di Bismantova and traversing the lands of Matilda di Canossa. Compared to 2022, the La Matildica route has been further improved, with alternating climbs and descents that aren’t long, but they are challenging.

With practically no time to settle into race mode on Tuesday, September 5, it’s already time to take on the Mountain Queen Stage. Compared to past editions, the stage is shorter (89 km) but no less challenging with 3200 meters of climbing before reaching the finish line in Fiumalbo.

No time to rest because on Wednesday, September 6, a loop around Fiumalbo will again put racers under pressure. The Tuscany “Incipit” is the newest development for the 2023 edition, with a gradual advance into Tuscany inside the Abetone ski area, 79 km long with 2700 meters of climbing.

Monte Cimone is the big star in the fourth stage on Thursday, Sept. 7, from Fiumalbo to Fanano. There will be three climbs that day along the 57-kilometer route of the Cimone Challenge with 2300 meters of climbing to test the athletes’ legs once again.

For those who like the Appenninica MTB Stage Race’s approach to mountain biking, the stage slated for Friday, September 8, from Fanano to Vidiciatico will be the perfect manifesto. Appenninica Distilled with its 54 km and 2,500 meters of climbing is a combination of everything the Italian stage race has to offer: long and rideable climbs, technical descents, and wonderful views.

The grand finale is booked for Saturday, September 9 on the Monte Pizzo, with start and finish in Vidiciatico, a hamlet in the municipality of Lizzano in Belvedere. Same as last year, the technical 37 kilometres with 1750 meters of climbing will declare the final verdict.


After the tremendous success of the Early Bird registration phase, which sold out in just 15 days, it’s now possible to register in the “Regular Registration” phase until May 31, 2023. Same as in the last four editions, organizers have confirmed the solo format and have limited entries to a maximum of 150 participants to avoid overcrowding on the trails and to ensure a high standard of quality in providing support to all participants.


Stage 1 – La Matildica – 56 km and 1800 m of elevation gain

Monday, September 4: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti

Stage 2 – Mountain Queen – 89 km and 3200 m of elevation gain
Tuesday, September 5: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Fiumalbo

Stage 3 – Tuscany “Incipit” – 79 km and 2700 m of elevation gain
Wednesday, September 6: Fiumalbo – Fiumalbo

Stage 4 – Cimone Challenge – 57 km and 2300 m of elevation gain
Thursday, September 7: Fiumalbo – Fanano

Stage 5 – Appenninica Distilled – 54 km and 2500 m of elevation gain
Friday, September 8: Fanano – Vidiciatico

Stage 6 – Monte Pizzo – 37 km and 1750 m of elevation gain
Saturday, September 9: Vidiciatico – Vidiciatico

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