From Fanano to Cerreto Laghi, the “Queen Stage” calls for bravehearts

The 2021 High Mountain Queen Stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race (September 12-18) promises to be a thrilling and challenging experience, with 95 km and 3,600 metres of elevation gain

Credits: The Outdoor Lab

From September 12th to 18th, 2021, the Appenninica MTB Stage Race will offer an epic show across 420 kilometres and 16,000 metres of elevation gain, and managing energies throughout the week will be no small part to each rider’s success. As in past editions, though, the Queen Stage will represent possibly the biggest hurdle on the way of the participants, both those racing for the overall honors and those willing to win their own personal challenge.

On Thursday, September 16th, 2021, the High Mountain Queen Stage will take the riders from Fanano to Cerreto Laghi through 95 kilometres and 3,600 metres of elevation gain. Despite a slightly lower distance than the 2020 edition, the stage has a very demanding profile, with climbs not overly challenging and flowing sections, mixing forest roads with beech woods and dirt roads with sparse vegetation.

In the first part, the 2021 queen stage follows the route of last year’s one, with the 17 km climb and 1,000 metres of elevation gain from Fanano to the Monte Cimone summit, where the riders can enjoy wide views, and possibly see the wild horses that live in Pian Cavallaro. After a 10 km downhill to Pievepelago through a long single track, the second ascent will be a more regular climb on asphalt or dirt road to Bassa del Saltello (1599 mt). From there, the bikers will face 40 km of ups and downs, keeping an altitude between 1400 and 1750 m, through the Lama Lite Pass and the Monte Cusna.

After a series of fun and not too technical single tracks, the athletes will arrive in Cerreto Laghi, a renowned ski resort in the municipality of Ventasso. With its 1,344 mt, Cerreto Laghi will host the highest stage finish of Appenninica MTB Stage Race in three editions. Before reaching the finish line, the race will trespass to Tuscany a couple of times through the Passo del Cerreto, in the charming scenario of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park, awarded by Unesco as MAB Reserve for its extraordinary biodiversity.

Compared to the last edition we have slightly reduced the distance, but once again Appenninica offers a legitimate Queen stage, posing a real challenge for the riders. The course is flowing and runs through the wildest areas of the Apennines, offering breathtaking views between the two highest peaks of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, Monte Cimone and Monte Cusna. The riders will be immersed in the widest views of the entire week, where on the clearest days you can see both the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Adriatic Sea”, said Beppe Salerno and Milena Bettocchi, organizers of Appenninica MTB Stage Race.

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