Gordon and Emily’s journey from the US to Appenninica

Gordon Wadsworth and his wife Emily Hairfield will be at the start of the 2021 Appenninica MTB Stage Race on September 12th, combining a sporting challenge with a holiday in Italy to discover the Apennines.

Appenninica MTB Stage Race could not happen anywhere else than on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines: the bind between the race and its territory goes far beyond its name. So, while many get to know the area while taking in the Appenninica challenge, it also happens that some people come to the race to make an exciting combination of adventure and a holiday. That’s the case of Gordon Wadsworth and Emily Hairfield from the United States, coming to Appenninica’s third edition from September 12th to 18th.

We love events that match the local spirit and world-class riding and hospitality, and from what we have learned the Appenninica MTB has both in great measure. A sports event like Appenninica shows the heart and spirit of a territory, showcasing the culture and the history. When you see and experience a place, you also learn about people and their lives in a very special way. We may not leave Italians, but we will leave with a love of Italy. I am sure!” said Gordon Wadsworth. 

Credits: The Outdoor Lab

Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Gordon Wadsworth took up mountain biking in his teenage and transferred his passion to his wife Emily. As a three-time winner of the US National Championships and five-time winner of the National Ultra Endurance Series Championships, Gordon competed in several international events. In recent years, his wife Emily and him have created the “race-cations” formula, combining the challenge of a stage race with a holiday. 

We love crafting “race-cations” with epic events as a starting pointwhere we get to experience the location at a very close levelThe bike is a tremendous medium for the experience because we can hear, feel, smell, and taste things like no other wayAfter having completed the Appenninica, we hope to feel a little closer to the people and culture of Emilia Romagna and the areas we plan to travel through,” explained Gordon Wadsworth. 

The US couple has already begun the build-up to a demanding stage race like Appenninica, with a training plan that includes long rides repeated for several days in a row. Over the past spring, Wadsworth also took part in the Trans-Sylvania Epic and Unbound XL, finishing both races in the top ten and confirming that he can be with the best at the Appenninica. 

“Emily and I both love the stage race format because every day it has to be the “best day ever”. They are hard, of course, and that’s part of the appeal. By digging extremely deep, we learn about ourselves, challenge ourselves, and emerge the other side as different and better people. The community that an event like Appenninica builds is second to none. After the race, we both love sharing the experiences of the day, and sometimes those friendships grow across time and borders,” said Wadsworth. 

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