The 26-year-old Austrian won the individual classification in Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race’s first edition and looks to repeat this year: “It is a unique race and I will try to win it again”
Resisting the call of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race is not easy. The winner of the first edition, Lukas Kaufmann, can confirm it, as from September 27th to October 3rd 2020 he will be back on the Emilian Apennines to try to defend the title won last year. In 2019 he showed all his qualities, both uphill and on the fast downhill trails, securing the final individual overall classification and thus becoming the first winner in the history of Appenninica.
He was born in Linz, Northern Austria, in 1994 and for about ten years has been traveling the world looking for races that feed his passion for fat wheels and technical trails. Over the years he has raised the bar more and more, finding the ideal terrain to prove his skills in stage races.
“Last year I learned about Appenninica thanks to a Facebook ad – Kaufmann says -. I was looking for a stage race in a beautiful area of Italy and I immediately registered. I should have participated in pairs with a friend of mine, but in the end he could not be there so I raced alone. I certainly didn’t expect to win, although I knew I was in good shape, since a few days earlier I had finished third in the Salzkammergut Trophy, 11 hours of racing for 210 km and 7100 meters of elevation gain”.
Lukas perfectly fits with Appenninica mood, fully enjoying the atmosphere once he gets off his bike: “The family atmosphere is one of the things that I enjoyed the most of the race. At the end of the week everyone knew each other. The marvelous food should not be overlooked too, especially the Parmigiano Reggiano”.
But a skilled biker like him was also looking for a nice course to have fun with: “I did stage races in Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, France, Spain, Costa Rica and Australia, but nowhere I enjoyed the route like I did at Appenninica – the 26-year-old Austrian said -. You need a great technique, because trails are difficult, and also excellent resistance, because after seven days of competition you are really exhausted”.
His goal is to repeat the win, taking advantage of the experience gained last year and the knowledge of the Apennines traps. In 2020, however, the competition will be higher and the rivals fiercer: “Last year, while I was travelling back home in a 10-hours-drive, I reflected on how much this race would grow over the years. The organizers are doing an excellent job and it is logical that, little by little, stronger riders will join the race. I can’t wait to challenge athletes like Milton Ramos and many others. A stage race is always unpredictable, but surely, I will start to repeat last year victory. I will train intensely until September, then if I do not succeed in winning, I will still be able to enjoy the course, the good food, the magnificent landscape and the company of the Appenninica team”.