It is with great pleasure that we’ve learned that Lorenzo De Sanctis (Italy, team D’Orsogna) will return to Appenninica next July. He is a very competitive amateur who was on the podium at the 2019 edition and he has one goal: do better.

Lorenzo De Sanctis is one of those stories that make minor sports great. He kept up with Austrian talent Lukas Kaufmann (one of the best long-distance European elites) and former American pro Coulton Hartrich. It ranked third but without ever seeming in difficulty, we have never seen him really drained at the finish lines but rather always smiling. In the longest stage he lost the change for victory in the last descent. Too bad!

Lorenzo De Sanctis Appenninica

Lorenzo is not only an amateur but almost a novice. Yes, his MTB career years can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

He played football but gets injured at the end of 2015. Six months of crutches, the extra kilos that accumulate, and the advice to pedal to start rehabilitation.

And so begins the MTB chapter of the sporting life of Lorenzo De Sanctis from Guardiagrele (Chieti in the region of Abruzzo) riding a 26 with a triple (you do remember!) In April 2016.

A few XC races in 2017 but towards the end of the season he understands that marathons and the big elevation gains suit him best. The first epic challenge is the Hero of 2018 completed in 6 hr 20 min and the following year, in preparation for the Apennines, he betters his time of half an hour.

We asked him what his 2020 goals are.

Appenninica MTB is the event that he targets and he literally tells us that he wants to do the race of his life. He tells us “I want to improve myself, not spare myself in any stage”. Because he took third the year before, it is clear that Lorenzo is thinking big. Obviously the others will stand still but they will have to deal with him.

The queen stage Fanano – Castelnovo Monti (105 km x 4200 m) does not seem to frighten him, on the contrary, it is exactly what galvanizes him: “I hope to get ahead, far ahead”.

Winning the queen stage for an amateur who trains as he can manage and with many sacrifices would be thrilling. Of course, he competes for fun, but to take the win would be nice.

Then we asked him where he needs to improve to do better. Uphill, he did all right.

“I suffer short and fast stages and last year I’ve lost ground in the time trials. On the long ones I think I can be with the best. “

And what about the 2019 edition? What is your most beautiful memory?

“The environment you created, the relaxed atmosphere even if the competitive spirit was there. I met all wonderful people and I’ve stayed in touch with them. “

“The other beautiful memory is the long ride uphill – infinite – made with Lukas to chase Coulton and then play my chances for the victory.”

Good luck, Lorenzo!