From London 2012 to Appenninica 2022: Maaike Polspoel ready for the challenge

The former Belgian road cyclist, now a nutritionist for Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma, is ready to take on the Appenninica MTB Stage Race (4-10 September) ten years after her Olympic adventure in London. “I’m looking for a challenge to push my limits”

The reigning queen, Naima Diesner, has cited her as a rival to keep an eye on, but Maaike Polspoel swears that she does not think about the Appenninica MTB Stage Race final victory. Whether the Belgian is bluffing or not, will be discovered as of 4 September 2022, when the Emilia-Romagna Apennines will be the judges from the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

Born in 1989, ten years ago the Belgian finished 29th in the Elite Women’s Road race at the 2012 London Olympics. Today she is preparing to experience Appenninica (4-10 September 2022) after returning to her first love, mountain biking.

Mountain biking was my first real love when it comes to cycling. As a little kid, I loved spending time in nature with my mountain bike. Before becoming a professional road cyclist, I was active as a biker in the international junior and U23 categories. I switched to road cycling after an injury during a World Cup cross-country race. However, the love for the mountain bike hasnever left me and after my career as a road cyclist, I picked up mountain biking again,” said Maaike Polspoel.

That’s why the decision to come to Emilia-Romagna for a mountain bike stage race thrilled her.

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race is unique. It will be very challenging and pushing limits will be needed. And that’s exactly what I’m looking for… Challenging and pushing my limits. And all this in an incredibly beautiful environment and wonderful nature. These are all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience” .

After finishing her career as a professional road racer, with stage win at the Profile Ladies Tour in 2011 and the Erondegemse Pijl in 2013 standing out as her best results, Maaike Polspoel has remained in the cycling world. Once finished her studies as a nutritionist, she has recently joined the Jumbo-Visma team of the last Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard and the fellow Belgian talent Wout Van Aert.

A well-balanced fueling and nutrition strategy is crucial to successfully finish a demanding stage race like Appenninica. The repetition of efforts, every stage demands a lot from your body, so you have to give it the energy to recover and to be fuelled for the next day. Carbohydrates play an important role in this, so Italian pasta will be welcome after each stage!”, the Belgian rider explained.

In spite of defending champion Naima Diesner picking her as one of the possible favourites for the overall victory, Maaike Polspoel prefers to shy away from the race for the overall win, but not without mentioning a name to watch out for.

“I don’t think I will be able to win this edition. It is the first time I will participate in the Appenninica, and it’s been a while since I have done some competition, so I will take it one day at a time and enjoy each stage. With her experience from last year, I think Naima has the best chance of winning again. I also expect a lot from Rozanne Slik, I know her from when she was a professional cyclist and expect that she will be at the start in excellent condition. In any case, I am looking forward to it,” Maaike Polspoel said. 

Whether it is just pretactics or not, the women’s race at Appenninica certainly promises to be exciting.

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