The two winners of the 2021 Appenninica MTB Stage Race are ready to take the start again in 2022 (4-10 September) to defend their titles. “Appenninica is a special race, and the Italian welcoming makes all the difference,” said the Germans
Giving it all and leaving nothing behind. With this spirit, Felix Fritzsch and Naima Diesner are preparing to defend the titles they earned on the finish line of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race just under a year ago. The two German riders will be back to the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the 2022 edition (4-10 September), aware that the competition might be even fiercer this time.
For Fritzsch and Diesner, the overall victory in 2021 came in different fashions, but still tasted sweet. In the men’s category, the R2 MTN CREW rider took the title by emerging over the field of the pre-race favorites, proving to be the most consistent athlete throughout the week. In the women’s field, Diesner – now a Buff-Megamo Team rider – dominated the competition, winning four of the seven available stages and distancing the runner-up, Virginia Cancellieri, by nearly an hour.
“Last year, I competed without too many expectations, and I surprised even myself by winning the final classification so I will adopt the same strategy this year. My goal is to give everything and get the best possible result at the end of the seven stages”, said Felix Fritzsch.
On the other hand, Diesner shows more confidence on the heels of last year’s eloquent performance:
“Confirming that achievement will be difficult, but I will do everything to place myself in the top positions again and try to defend the title”.
The pool of contenders promises to be even richer and fiercer in both categories, leading to a more uncertain and spectacular race until the finish line in Lizzano in Belvedere.
“I know it will be very difficult to beat Diego Arias, but anything can happen in such a demanding race with several stages. After a complicated start of the season due to various physical problems, I am also regaining my best shape ahead of the start: I will give everything day by day“, explained Fritzsch.
“Compared to last year, there will be an Olympic athlete like Maaike Polspoel, which raises the level of an already demanding race and makes it even more fascinating. So far, I have had an exciting season, and I hope to continue like this at Appenninica as well”, commented Naima Diesner.
If the build-up for Appenninica MTB Stage Race was different for the two German riders, they once again agreed on the beauty of the race along the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, from Castelnovo ne’ Monti to Lizzano in Belvedere, passing through Fanano and Porretta Terme.
“Appenninica is a very well organised race, with a special atmosphere outside the competitive moments. An event that I would definitely recommend to those looking for an exciting race that combines adventure and a breath-taking scenery“, resumed Fritzsch.
“Last year was a magical race for me, thanks to the excellent Italian hospitality and the atmosphere created by the staff. I enjoyed it so much that not only did I want to be back, but also convinced two friends to join me, from Australia and Costa Rica”, echoed Diesner.
The closing line is about the chances of a repeat for the two Germans.
“Sharing the podium with a friend like Felix last year was special. Together we talked about returning to Appenninica, and I think it will be great to see us competing for the top positions again”, admitted Diesner.
“It will be very tough, but one thing is certain: whoever wins will have deserved the title, 100%”, concluded the King of Appenninica 2021.