Once you’ve ridden it, you can’t do without it. Among those former Appenninica MTB Stage Race competitors who think so, count also Hans Becking. The 2020 Appenninica MTB Stage Race winner has decided to return in 2023, and from September 4th to 9th, he will be one of the main contenders for the final victory.
“I have always kept a list of races that I wanted to do again, and among them was Appenninica MTB Stage Race. I skipped World Cup races this year, and the World Championships were on the calendar before Appenninica; I have the opportunity to return to Italy. I have beautiful memories of the views and MTB trails of this stage race, with long days in the saddle and big climbs, the way I like it. Appenninica MTB Stage Race is a pure, old-school mountain bike race, and it’s great like that!”, says the Dutch riders of the Buff-Megamo Team.
Becking returns to the starting line of the stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines as one of the main overall contenders. After the Epic Andorra Pyrenees and the Volcat BTT victories, the Dutchman is cultivating ambitions to make Appenninica MTB Stage Race history by becoming the first athlete in the men’s field to win two race editions.
“This season hasn’t been the best, but in September I usually arrive in good shape, and I think it will be the same at Appenninica. I always want to win when I attach the number on my back. It would be an honour to win the overall again, but the days in a race like this are long, and everything has to go right. This year I will take the race day by day, trying to have some fun and not suffer too much”, explains Becking.
On the trails of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, the Dutchman will cross path with an old friend, Tiago Ferreira, his former teammate with whom he dominated Appenninica 2020.
“I like to challenge friends like Tiago, certainly wearing different jerseys than in 2020 will make the race very interesting. I will have to focus on my race and recovery day by day. The advantage of Tiago Ferreira is that he can work as a team with Andreas Miltiadis, helping each other in case of mechanical problems, while I will have to manage everything by myself. But I accept the challenge: I will try to make life as difficult as possible for the riders of Team DMT Racing”, says Becking.
With these assumptions, the Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023 challenge promises to be exciting. It will be up to the the Emilia-Romagna Apennines’ trails to determine Diego Arias’ successor.