The Italian MTB stage race unveils the course of its seven stages for the 2021 edition (12-18 September). Great expectations for the new “High Mountain Queen Stage,” with 95km and 3,600 meters of elevation gain.

With less than six months to go, the countdown is on for the third edition of Appenninica MTB Stage Race, and the organizing team is in full activity. From September 12th to 18th, 2021, the Emilia-Romagna Apennines will be the location for an epic challenge between the world’s best long-distance riders. 

As in the past, the organizers have charted a challenging course for the 2021 edition, enhancing the Apennine ridge’s beauty and the unspoiled nature of Alta Via dei Parchi, the feather in the cap for the tourist promotion of the Emilia-Romagna Region. The extreme challenge will take place over seven stages with almost 16,000 meters of elevation gain and a total distance of over 420 kilometers through five-stage venues. For the 2021 edition, new stage towns Lizzano in Belvedere (Bologna) and Cerreto Laghi (Reggio Emilia) have joined the confirmed Porretta Terme (Bologna), Fanano (Modena) and Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia).

As in the first two editions, the 2021 Appenninica MTB Stage Race route will alternate long and demanding stages with fast, technical and fun courses. A perfect mix to ensure entertainment, keeping the high technical level of the race.   


On Sunday, September 12th, 2021, Porretta Terme will host the Appenninica MTB Stage Race start with the “Porretta Soul” stage, a 45 km individual time trial (1,645 mt of elevation gain) dedicated to the Porretta Soul Festival. A symbol of Porretta Terme area, the Monte Cavallo climb will be immediately tackled by the riders while the stage will continue through the thick surrounding woodlands, enjoying high altitude views of the mountains and Reno valley. 

The first real taste of Apennine ridge will be scheduled on Monday, September 13th with stage 2, 57 km and 2,340m of elevation gain from Porretta Terme to Lizzano in Belvedere. Named the “Corno”, the second stage’s protagonist is the Corno alle Scale mountain, with its wide and emotional views. 

On Tuesday, September 14th, the Appenninica 2021 riders will move from Lizzano in Belvedere to Fanano with a very technical stage of 50km and 2,500m of elevation gain. The track goes continuously up and down through different terrains, with versatility required to be ready for any situation. 

Designed by famous trail builder Pierpaolo “Pippo” Marani, the spectacular “Pippo Yeah” stage will return on Wednesday, September 15th. With a route of 50 km and 2,300m of elevation gain, one of the most appreciated stages of the 2020 edition will again show the beautiful landscapes around Fanano, entertaining the riders on the breathtaking single tack downhill to the town center. 

From Fanano to Cerreto Laghi, the “High Mountain Queen Stage” scheduled on Thursday, September 16th, will be the real test bench for those who aspire to the Appenninica MTB Stage Race overall. The athletes will face 95km and 3,600m of elevation gain on a track wholly charted at high altitude, smooth and incredibly scenic. 

After the great effort, on Friday, September 17th, the “Park&Roll” will move to Castelnovo ne’ Monti through a less challenging stage, 65km and 1,900m of elevation gain. After the first uphill part, the riders will go downhill through the trails of Cervarezza Bike Park from Lake Calamone, enjoying the Bismantova Rock view from afar. 

On Saturday, September 18th, the epilogue is the “Purgatory” stage, dedicated to Dante Alighieri on the 700th anniversary of his death. The name of the stage says everything: to reach the “Paradise”, finishing (or even winning) the Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2021, the riders have to tame the Bismantova Rock, riding in the shadow of the mountain that inspired Dante’s Purgatory before tasting the glory at Castelnovo ne’ Monti. 


Registration for the 2021 edition is open on the official website:

As in 2020, the organizing committee chose to allow only individual participation, without the pairs format. Riders can register at Appenninica MTB Stage Race in the “Regular Registration” phase until June 30th, 2021. A three-installment payment plan is also available for the 2021 edition. For further information:

With Appenninica’s trails riding through regional and national parks, to avoid the course’s overcrowding and provide the best possible experience, the organizers opted to set a maximum number of 150 registered athletes.


Stage 1 – Porretta Soul – 45 km and 1,645m elevation gain

Sunday, September 12th: Porretta Terme – Porretta Terme

Stage 2 – Il Corno – 57 km and 2,340 mt elevation gain

Monday, September 13th: Porretta Terme – Lizzano in Belvedere

Stage 3 – Gold Rush – 50 km and 2,500 mt elevation gain

Tuesday, September 14th: Lizzano in Belvedere – Fanano

Stage 4 – Pippo Yeah – 50 km and 2,300 mt elevation gain

Wednesday, September 15th: Fanano – Fanano

Stage 5 – High Mountain Queen – 95 km and 3,600 mt elevation gain

Thursday, September 16th: Fanano – Cerreto Laghi

Stage 6 – Park & Roll – 65 km and 1,900 mt elevation gain

Friday, September 17th: Cerreto Laghi – Castelnovo ne’ Monti

Stage 7 – The Purgatory – 50 km and 1,400 mt elevation gain

Saturday, September 18th: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti