104 Km and 3600 mt. D+: Appenninica’s Queen Stage is the ultimate test of truth

In the fourth edition of Appenninica (4-10 September 2022), the 104 Km and 3600 metres of elevation gain of the High Mountain Queen Stage’ from Castelnovo ne’ Monti to Fanano might be the turning point of the race on day 3, Tuesday, September 6th

With its 440 km and 16,000 metres of elevation gain spread over seven days (September 4th-10th, 2022), up and down the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, Appenninica MTB Stage Race poses plenty of challenges on the way of its participants. However, those who have already taken part in the spectacular Italian MTB stage race and those who dream of doing it soon know that there is always a day to be circled in red: the High Mountain Queen Stage.

The stage race scheduled in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines will reverse course this year, starting from Castelnovo ne’ Monti and ending in Lizzano in Belvedere, but the format will remain unchanged, with its unique mix of tough and exciting challenges, trails in the wilderness, and incomparable scenery. This year, the most challenging test will come on the third day, Tuesday, September 6th, 2022, when the Queen Stage of the 2022 edition is scheduled, starting from Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) and arriving in Fanano (Modena).

Compared to the past, the athletes will be fresher to tackle the 104 km and 3600 metres of elevation gain, but there will certainly be no shortage of thrills, starting with the spectacular views of a route almost entirely above 1,500 metres in altitude. A large part of the route follows the Alta via dei Parchi along ancient military mule tracks and trade routes such as the ancient via Vandelli, which connected Modena to Massa Carrara from the 18th century onwards.

At the start, there will be time for a final salute to the Bismantova Rock before crossing the Secchia river and beginning the first long ascent of the day (20 km and 1000 metres of elevation gain). A forest road will lead to the Cisa Pass and the “Alta Tensione” trail, eventually reaching the Monte Cusna area.

From Febbio, a new climb on forest roads will take the bikers to the summit of the Monte Giovarello (1760 m a.s.l.), from where, with favourable weather conditions, the entire Po Valley and beyond to the Tuscan coast can be seen. After reaching the Passo Radici, the route will go down in altitude, alternating forest roads and short single tracks up to the village of Pievepelago. Here the athletes will be able to catch their breath on the 10 km of asphalt road that will lead to Fiumalbo, where the climbing will start again.

A 10 km forest road and 1000 metres of altitude difference will take the athletes to Pian Cavallaro (1850 m a.s.l.) at the foot of Monte Cimone. There will only be 15 km left to the finish in Fanano, to be raced on pleasant forestry descents and short single-track sections. The first competitors will reach Piazza Corsini after 5 hours and 30 minutes: on such a day there’s nowhere to hide, and the general classification could be significantly reshaped.

“It is a Queen Stage in pure Appenninica style. The bikers will face ‘wild’ trails and unspoilt landscapes, on a selective – but also flowy – route that will cross some of the best-known areas of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, such as Monte Cusna and Monte Cimone”, explained Beppe Salerno and Milena Bettocchi, the co-organizers of Appenninica MTB Stage Race.

Bike and tech: 5 insider tips for taking up Appenninica

Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2022 partner for mechanical assistance, Sport Bike Alicante points out five aspects not to be overlooked before tackling the demanding MTB stage race on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines.

 

Even if you have never taken part in an MTB stage race, and maybe you are preparing for your first time at Appenninica MTB Stage Race, you know already that preparation for such an event starts from afar. And no, we’re not just talking about physical conditioning.

If you think a challenge like the Appenninica is stressful for your body (and you might be right), have you ever wondered how stressful it can be for your bike? Spoiler: indeed, no less…

From 4 to 10 September 2022, on the trails of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, the mechanical assistance will be provided by Sport Bike Alicante, a new partner of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Whatever the bike’s annoyance or technical problem, the mechanics’ team will be ready to tackle and solve it.

Before reaching Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the start, it is a good idea to go through these five technical and mechanical tips to be ready to tackle the week-long Appenninica MTB Stage Race:

  1. Brake pads must be 100% new. Change them before setting off and ensure the brake fluid level and pressure are correct.
  2.  Tyres must be new. Choose the best size according to your preference and driving style, but make sure that they are brand new and not already worn at the start.
  3. Keep in mind that you are riding on the Apennines, and the elevation profile of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race is very demanding. Obvious? Maybe so, but it’s good to recall this when making your technical choices….
  4. Always keep an essential tool kit at hand. Inside it: chain stripper, multi-tool, spare inner tube, spare dropout or derailleur, Co2 pump with adapter, thermal blanket, lube oil or wax, cable ties and small pliers. A week up and down the Apennines is long and full of unforeseen events: you better be prepared.
  5. If your bike is equipped with an electric derailleur, take along an auxiliary battery for the derailleur and a battery for the control unit. Weather variations are always possible; changes in cold and heat can drain batteries faster and create trouble.

The Appenninici: Mark, Pippo and a lifetime in mountain bike

“Number 138, Mark Anolik, crosses the finish line in Fanano”. After hearing this sentence from the Appenninica MTB Stage Race speaker, Pierpaolo “Pippo” Marani’s eyes sparkled. Based in Fanano (Modena), the famous trail builder remembers that name well from the 1991 Mountain Bike World Championships in Il Ciocco, when Marani finished 35th in the Downhill Elite event, while his friend and rival from the USA finished just behind him, in 36th place.

The fate wanted that the two would meet again in a village in the Modena Apennines, exactly 30 years later, in 2021. In this case, destiny has a name: Appenninica MTB Stage Race.

I knew that Pippo was involved with Appenninica and that we could have an opportunity to meet again after many years. I am pleased it happened, also because it helped me to get back in touch with Giovanna Bonazzi, whom I have known for many years and worked with when she raced for the team I managed in 1997, Sintesi – Verlicchi”, said Mark Anolik.

The meeting between Mark Anolik and Pippo Marani was an opportunity to relive the atmosphere of those pioneering mountain biking days in the early 90s, of which both were protagonists. The adventurous spirit of the 90s is very similar to Appenninica’s spirit itself, the one that charmed so many participants on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines.

“The format of the race and the route caught my eye, because I lived in Prato when I competed for Diamond Back/Moustique, and I knew the Apennines. I recommend Appenninica to anyone who loves real, hard core mountain biking. There are all the ingredients, from one of the most beautiful areas to great food, friendly people and excellent organisation. A perfect mix that makes Appenninica one of the best events I have participated in almost 40 years of mountain biking”, Mark Anolik told.

And after a 40-year career, Mark Anolik still feels like riding. The American will also be at the start of the 2022 edition (4-10 September), because his strive for competition and desire to improve has remained the same.

“The experience of many years of racing helps you face the tough days, but I like the challenge of competing and I feel it makes me a better athlete” – ended Mark Anolik.

Why and how did we come up with Appenninica?

We’ve told the story many times but it’s time to explain the genesis of Appenninica MTB Stage Race here.

Over the past 15 years we’ve raced in 4 continents and year after year, race after race we fell in love with mountain bike stage racing. Not the competition in itself, but the experience and the challenge. The feeling of achieving the “Finisher” title changes the way you cope with problems and setbacks in life and if you have been there, you know what we mean. 

Taking part in those races from South Africa, to Canada, to Mongolia, and Europe of course, were perfect excuses to travel with our friends and families and pushed us to stay fit. 

Briefing inaugural edition Appenninica

A briefing for one of the stages of the inaugural edition of Appenninica MTB

Then something clicked: “Our Apennines could be – we thought – a very good place for such a race and not very many riders know its trails”. There are several races on the Alps and on the Pyrenees but the Apennines – an important mountain range of its own – did not host any true MTB stage race. We knew the incredible network of trails was there and that the “Italian divide” offered some unique ridgeline trails like we’ve not found anywhere in the World. 

We put our skills to work (we know events but that was a different animal), we rallied the team – Happy Trail MTB, our cycling club, provided the core team but we’ve gotten lots of great external help – and we started pitching the idea here and there. I can say that we were motivated and optimistic but we had to overcome, and we still do, challenges after challenges coming at us from every angle: weather, permits, money to name a few. We are still writing the story of Appenninica but let me just say that there’s been an equal mix of encouragement and skepticism. 

We’ll leave it at this: all of the work, the sleepless nights, and worries are worth it. 

If you want, it’s a classic story of having a dream and making it come true with drive and lots of patience. 

In a nutshell, Appenninica was started to share this part of Italy with the – great – mountain bike stage racing community and maybe to prove that the Apennines of Emilia Romagna could have hosted a top-level stage race. 

What’s in the name? Appenninica is an adjective loosely meaning coming from or made in the Apennines, or “made in Appennino” if you wish. 

Appenninica announces 2021 dates: September 12th to 18th

After the excellent outcome of this year, the event will remain in September. Registrations will open on November 15th

Photo by Marius Holler / The Outdoor Lab

Less than a month removed from a beautiful 2020 edition, the organizers of Appenninica MTB Stage Race are already working for 2021, and there is already the first significant news.

After pushing the 2020 edition from Summer to Fall because of the epidemiological emergency, the excellent feedback received from athletes and insiders convinced the organizers to confirm September as the month of the challenging stage race in the Emilian Apennines.

Appenninica’s third edition will take place from Sunday 12th to Saturday, September 18th, 2021, over seven days of competition. The September fixture should ensure the ideal climate for the competition, away from the peaks of summer heat and the early autumn cold.

Mid-September is also perfect for seizing the views of the Apennines and enjoying the real MTB on its unique ridges: “After this year’s success, despite all the hurdles, – explains Beppe Salerno, co-organizer of the race together with Milena Bettocchi, – we decided to confirm our calendar slot in September, two weeks earlier than this year. We expect to find slightly warmer temperatures and an even more eager welcoming since our venues’ summer season will still be open. Also, the international calendar offers us an interesting opportunity, as we aim to bring a group of top riders on the Apennines next year too”.

HOW TO REGISTER

As in 2020, the organizing committee chose to allow only individual participation without the pairs format, following an increasing trend worldwide.

It will be possible to register for 2021 Appenninica from November 15th, when the “Early Bird” phase will open: until January 31st, a maximum of 55 athletes can register for a reduced price.

With Appenninica’s trails riding through regional and national parks, in order not to overcrowd the course and ensure the utter level of enjoyment, the organizers opted to set a maximum number of 150 registered athletes.

The Bismantova Rock enhances Tiago Ferreira

The Portuguese rider of the DMT Racing Team made the difference in the final descent, taking his second Appenninica stage victory in Castelnovo ne’ Monti. Lorenzo Samparisi was runner-up, followed by GC leader Hans Becking. Esther Süss makes five out of five among women

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Ferreira heading towards the Bismantova Rock

DMT Racing Team continues to rule at Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race. On Thursday, October 1st, in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, with the stunning Bismantova Rock in the background, the athletes of team manager Andrea Marconi won the fourth stage in five days at the Italian stage race. This time, however, they didn’t finish together. Tiago Ferreira managed to make the difference in the final descent that brought the riders to the base of the Rock, distancing everyone, even his teammate and GC leader Hans Becking. Second place for Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) at 2’57”, narrowly guarded by the Dutchman, third at 3’06”.

After the Queen Stage efforts, the riders opted for a steadier approach to the stage, 50-km-long with 1800 meters of elevation gain. That resulted in regular pace in the early part, on fast forest roads and some uphill trails towards Montemiscoso and the Lake Calamone. Just before approaching the stretch around the Bismantova Rock, Ferreira decided to force the pace and try an all-in for the stage victory. Samparisi’s attempts to keep up with him were fruitless, so the Portuguese came in Piazza Peretti in Castelnovo ne’ Monti with his arms raised, celebrating his second victory in this Appenninica’s edition.

“The first part of the stage was very calm since we had no reason to push hard – Ferreira explained. – In the second, however, there were many fast up and down, so I tried to go for the stage. And I made it!”. On the other hand, Becking didn’t take any risk: “When Tiago attacked, I let Samparisi try to chase him. I didn’t want to push too hard. Even today, we were surrounded by beautiful landscapes, but after five days of competition on the Emilian Apennines, I understand this must be usual around here”.

Italian Samparisi, once again the most tenacious opponent of the DMT Racing Team’s riders, had to settle for the place of honor: “Unfortunately I could not follow Tiago, but I will try again in the next two stages that seem to suit my characteristics. After Fanano’s victory, I would like to repeat”.

In the overall standings, Ferreira shortened the distance to his teammate Becking and is now 4’38” behind, while Samparisi is getting closer to the final third place, having gained more time on Milton Ramos (Rockrider Decathlon).

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Ferreira celebrating in Castelnovo ne’ Monti

ESTHER SÜSS HIGH-FIVE!

Esther Süss got the fifth victory in as many stages among women, not leaving even a shred of hope to her opponents. At this point, the en-plein of successes in this Appenninica’s edition is no longer utopia for the former World Champion. At 17’29” from the winner, Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Data) was on the second step of the podium for the fifth time as well.

“It was a fun stage, with many ‘up and downs’, and beautiful landscapes – the Swiss explained -. I like to go uphill rather than downhill, but I needed a day like today, after yesterday’s efforts. Winning all the stages? I already did it at the Transalp, the 4 Islands, and the Andalucia Bike Race, so why not?”.

ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, FROM CASTELNOVO TO COLLECCHIO (94 KM)

On Friday, October 2nd, long distances will be back in Appenninica. Collecchio and the Giarola Court will host the sixth stage’s finish, 94 km from the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) after the athletes have left the Apennine massif for the first time. 

The protagonist of the central part of the stage will be the town of Calestano, famous for its technical and fun trails. The Taro river valley will bring the riders to the final part of the stage, all the way to the Giarola Court, Appenninica’s headquarter for the last two days.

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. The leading group during the first part of the race

The Queen Stage has its king: Hans Becking

The Dutch rider of the DMT Racing Team, along with his teammate Tiago Ferreira, made the difference in the 110-km-long Queen Stage of Appenninica with over 4000 meters of elevation gain, further reinforcing his GC lead. Esther Süss continues her clear path among women

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Becking and Ferreira leading the race

The Queen Stage was the litmus test for Hans Becking, and he passed it in swing. On Wednesday, September 30th, the fourth stage of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race brought the riders from Fanano (Modena) to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia). The boys of DMT Racing Team once again confirmed their class, taking the lead of the race early into the 110-km-long stage with 4200 meters of total elevation gain, and arriving together on the finish line of the “Don Bosco” oratory, in the town in the province of Reggio Emilia.

With a fantastic open-air view of the Emilian Apennines, Becking and Ferreira attacked from the start, on the Passo del Saltello, increasing their gap on the Passo San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici and Passo del Giovarello. Always together, the duo kept the lead for all the 5h48′ race and was the first to get the look of the Bismantova Rock after the last important climb of the day, Passo della Cisa.

With today’s victory, the Dutch added another stage win to the inaugural time trial in Porretta Terme, and he further tightened his grab on general classification, while his teammate Ferreira, XCM European Champion, was runner-up. Third-placed on the day, at 9’16”, was French Joseph De Poortere (Rockrider-Decathlon), who beat Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) in a sprint.

“Almost six hours of racing, it was tough! But it was worth it – Becking explained -. The first climb on asphalt was fantastic, the view on the Apennines was more and more charming as we proceeded. Tiago and I set our pace from the start, and being together was a smart choice, since dealing with six hours alone wouldn’t have been so fun. It was by far the longest stage of my season, and certainly one of the hardest”.

In the overall standings, Becking holds 7’44” on teammate Ferreira, and with today’s performance, Samparisi managed to solidify the third provisional place at 24’58”, as Milton Ramos (Rockrider-Decathlon) closed more than 18 minutes behind the winner.

“Am I closer to the final victory? Probably, but I have participated in many stage races and I know that you can not be sure until it’s over – Becking continued -. The legs are still great, and no matter where I will finish, I will return home from Appenninica with very fond memories”.

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Esther Süss before the finish line

WHO CAN STOP ESTHER SÜSS?

Days go by, but Esther Süss doesn’t seem to be giving up an inch. In addition to winning the women’s Queen Stage, the former World Champion closed 20th overall in the stage, beating many men colleagues. At 28’22”, Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Dama) finished second.

“Mentally it was tough today – Süss explained, exhausted, after the finish line -. I was alone for most of the time, and while the landscapes were beautiful, I actually suffered a lot. I always try to give my best and discover my limits, when I’m on saddle I like to give it all”.

THE BISMANTOVA ROCK ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1ST, WITH STAGE 5 CASTELNOVO-CASTELNOVO (50 KM)

On Thursday, October 1st, it will be Castelnovo ne’ Monti‘s day, with stage 5 starting and finishing in Piazza Peretti, in the old town. The first part of the route follows – in the opposite direction – a stretch of the first edition: after the first kilometers on paved road, a sequence of fast forest roads and uphill trails rise towards the Montemiscoso mountain village. A 5-km paved climb leads to the beautiful setting of the glacial-origin Lake Calamone, and from there, a long and pleasant downhill trail leads back to Cervarezza and another uphill forest road.

Back to the top of the mountain, there is a short and fun downhill that anticipates some “ups and downs” on fast roads until reaching the base of the majestic Bismantova Rock, an authentic symbol of Appenninica, and framing the last part of the course until the finish in Piazza Peretti.

 

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. The Bismantova Rock

Lorenzo Samparisi makes Italian fans cheer in Fanano

The KTM Alchemist Dama rider won stage 3 (Fanano-Fanano), seeing off leader Hans Becking in a sprint. Süss is unbeatable among women. Tomorrow the Queen Stage (110 km!)

On the third day of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race Italy has celebrated its first success. On Tuesday, September 29th, in the third stage, starting and finishing in Fanano (Modena), over 50 km and 2500 meters of elevation gain, charted with the unmistakable trait of famous trail builder Pippo Marani.

Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) saw his determination rewarded with a victory on the Modena Apennines, conducting an aggressive race since the first ascent towards Passo Colombino. In his wake on the way up, the iron duo of DTM Racing Team formed by Hans Becking and Tiago Ferreira, whose strenght and consistency was on display once again.

Samparisi, Becking and Ferreira proceeded together on the ridges between Croce Arcana, Lago Scaffaiolo and Passo del Lupo, whose beauty has been enhanced by a sky never so clear in this edition of Appenninica.

The fun and electrifying final descent made the difference on the natural singletrack to Fanano, in which the hand of Pippo Marani – the creator of Val di Sole’s “Black Snake” – could certainly be seen. Samparisi attacked again with courage, followed by Becking, while Ferreira chose not to take risks ahead of the Queen Stage on Wednesday. Samparisi had time to raise his arms in the final sprint, while Becking consolidated his blue leader’s jersey.

“I attacked from the start, we were three on the climb, but I knew the final technical descent could have changed everything”, says Samparisi. “I didn’t hold back, I took some risks, and that eventually paid off. Tomorrow, however, it will be a different story: you have to manage the effort, and then unleash everything in the final hour.”

Even with the competition in full, however, the three protagonists of the day agreed on one thing: “When we arrived on the ridge, Becking, Ferreira and I looked at each other and said – such a shame we don’t have a phone to take a pic! – We didn’t expect something like this before the start”.

Third place for Milton Ramos, looking more consistent and smiling day after day, at 6’09”, while Ferreira reached the finish line at 6’44”.

In the overall standings, before the Queen Stage, Becking has 7’44” on Tiago Ferreira, 15’41” on Lorenzo Samparisi and 19’24” on Milton Ramos. “Today we didn’t want to risk too much,” says Becking, “Samparisi pushed hard, especially on the downhill, while Tiago preferred to use some extra caution ahead of tomorrow. The Queen Stage will be decisive, anything can happen, and victory is not granted. The one thing that’s for sure is the beauty of the sceneries we get to see every day.”

ESTHER SÜSS IS UNTOUCHABLE

Esther Süss (RC Gränichen) continues to command the women’s race. The former World Champion took the third success in a row: an unbreakable supremacy. The second position was once again of Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Dama), 23’22” behind.

“I’m focused on my own race: the only thing that can distract me are the scenarios that open up around us as we ride on a great course. Today the descent was so much fun; I enjoyed it all in view of the difficult stage of tomorrow, where it will be important to be on the top of my game.”

ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH, THE FEARED QUEEN STAGE: FANANO – CASTELNOVO NE’ MONTI (110 km)

It is the stage circled in red on the calendar of all athletes. Two numbers are enough to tell why: 110 km and 4,200 meters of elevation gain. Tomorrow it’s Queen Stage time. It is the stage that leads from the harshest to the hilliest part of the Apennines in a succession of singletrails, from the province of Modena to Reggio Emilia.

After the descent from Cimone, a series of up and down will begin: Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello, all on various terrain, from forest roads to trails with roots of undergrowth.

The Passo della Cisa is the last significant climb of the day, leading the athletes in the medieval town of Sologno and opening the first view of the Bismantova Rock. From the village, the last descent and the crossing of the river Secchia will finally mark the desired arrival in Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

Ferreira and Süss keep shining in Appenninica

Another double for the DMT Racing Team duo in stage 2, 65 km from Porretta Terme to Fanano. The Portuguese won the stage; the Dutchman held the race lead: “The Apennine is stunning!” Esther Süss keeps dominating among women

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Tiago Ferreira in action on the Apennines’ ridges

Only two days have passed from the start of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race‘s second edition, and “stunning” is the word you keep hearing in the village of the MTB stage race on the Italian Apennines. They clearly were not talking about the race outcome, at least so far: favorites Tiago Ferreira and Hans Becking, among men, and Esther Süss, among women, are obviously living up to the expectations.

On Monday, September 28th, the second stage took the field from Porretta Terme (Bologna) to Fanano (Modena) over 65 km and over 3.000 meters of elevation gain. It was different than the opening effort, and arguably more challenging: there’s little wondering why the stage was named “the technical.” Nevertheless, the outcome eloquently remarked what the first stage had already suggested.

Once again, Tiago Ferreira and Hans Becking of DMT Racing Team have celebrated together on the finish line, strengthening their role as favorites for Appenninica’s second edition. This time it was the Portuguese, reigning European and former World MTB Marathon Champion, to precede his teammate, who smiles in the blue of his Natali-branded leader’s jersey that he claimed yesterday and defended today.

“We accelerated right at the beginning of the climb to the Sboccata dei Bagnadori, around the Rifugio della Segavecchia,” Ferreira said, “and Hans and I paced from there, managing our gap.” “It’s a long week, so we need to manage our effort,” echoed Becking, “and this also allowed us to enjoy the sight a little bit, and it was definitely deserving. We saw incredible places on the course, and the second half of it was so much fun. I have been in many places, including the Alps and the Dolomites, of course, but I am discovering that the Apennines are beautiful in their very own way.”

After warming up the engine in the opening effort, Honduran Milton Ramos (Rockrider-Decathlon) displayed the quality that made him a serial winner of the Iron Bike: he was third on the day, a mere 32 seconds behind the DMT duo. Anyway, his first comment after the finish wasn’t about the overall standings: “Can’t believe the things I saw today. After traveling the World, you assume you pretty much know what to expect. And you’re mistaken: the climbs, the descents, the Apennine ridge we faced today are something incredible. I feel lucky to be here because I didn’t expect Appenninica to be like this: the places, the courses, and the special care they have for each rider like I had never seen before. Amazing.”

The first Italian rider, Lorenzo Samparisi (Team KTM-Alchemist), came in fourth place at 7’04”. Samparisi now occupies the same position in the overall standings behind Becking, Ferreira e Ramos.

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Esther Süss celebrating in Fanano finish line

ESTHER SÜSS’ CLASS ON DISPLAY AGAIN

The women’s race also confirmed what Esther Süss had started showing on Sunday. The Swiss rider claimed another neat success, with the challenging Apennines’ trails enhancing the huge value of the former XCM World Champion and three-time Cape Epic winner.

“Another great course today, and such hard climbs! We went through really tough sections, and I think we will find plenty of those over the week. But my legs are spinning good, and I am enjoying my time here. There’s still a lot to ride, and that’s good news”.

Gaia Ravaioli (KTM-Alchemist) came in second at 18’48”, keeping her runner-up spot in the GC behind Süss and ahead of Sarah Reiners.

STAGE 3 ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2020: FANANO-FANANO (50 km)

The stage 3 will be raced mostly on the natural trails in the area of Fanano and Sestola. The stage is named “Pippo Yeah” after Pier Paolo “Pippo” Marani, the famous trail builder of Val di Sole’s “Black Snake” downhill course, who contributed to charting 2020 Appenninica’s third effort.

After the start on the tarmac, the path to the Colombino Pass will bring the race through chestnut woods to the Capanno Tassoni. From there, the view will open on the singletracks on the ridge between the Passo Croce Arcana, Lago Scaffaiolo and Passo del Lupo. Some portage will be needed before unleashing the speed on the technical tracks that are sure to give the riders a real adrenaline rush, all the way to the finish in Fanano.

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Milton Ramos finishes third today’s stage

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. The ridges of the Apennines

Becking and Süss strike fast in Appenninica opener

The DMT Racing Team Dutchman has earned the leader’s jersey after the opening time trial in Porretta, won ahead of teammate Ferreira. The Swiss former World Champion set the tone in the Women’s race

Photo by Alyona Blagikh – The Outdoor Lab

They were the most expected riders, and they did not disappoint. Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race’s 2nd edition has opened in the name of DMT Racing Team’s Hans Becking and Tiago Ferreira, who dropped the hammer in the opening stage, a 45 km individual time trial starting and finishing in Porretta Terme

Porretta warmly welcomed the start of the only MTB stage race in Italy, in an amazing weekend for cycling in the Province of Bologna: just an hour and a half away from Porretta, in Imola, the Elite Men’s Road World Championship took place. The sun warmed up the early starts from central Piazza della Libertà, being later shaded by clouds as forecast, but no rain characterized the riders’ opening effort.

The stage 1 menu offered a varied course, pointing mostly up until beyond the halfway mark, with the ascents to Castelluccio and Manservisi Castle Park, and then up to the 1.428 meters of the Monte Cavallo. A very technical descent called the rider’s technical skills to the fore, before another challenging way up to the Monte Piella, where some portage stints were required to reach the top and the panoramic view on the Reno Valley, and the final path down to Porretta.

Photo by Marius Holler – The Outdoor Lab

Having started with a minute distance from each other, Ferreira and Becking rejoined along the course and consistently increased their margin over the stage. The duo got to the finish together, which meant Becking would take the stage and the Men leader’s jersey, having started one minute after the Portuguese. “A lot can happen over a week in this kind of race – Becking told at the finish – but we have started on the right foot. We were a little surprised by how technical the course was today: we’ll be more than ready tomorrow, as there’s still a very long way to go.” 

Third at the finish was Italian Lorenzo Samparisi (+8’35”), ahead of Dutchman Rob Van der Werf (+11.49) and veteran Milton Ramos (+12.42). The defending champion, Austrian Lukas Kaufmann, was just 13th on the day.

Esther Süss rides into early lead

Photo by Marius Holler – The Outdoor Lab

Many expectations also surrounded the Women’s race, with several athletes in a position to compete for the big prize. The first round went to Esther Süss: intensely focused before the start, the experienced Swiss put distance between her and the rivals, finishing 6’36” ahead of Italian Gaia Ravaioli.

Starting first means racing with no benchmarks, but when you see nobody closing in, then you know it worked out pretty well,” told the former World Champion and three-time Cape Epic winner. “I was astonished by the views from the course today: if that’s an indication of what expects us over this week, I can’t wait to take in the following stages.

APPENNINICA MTB PARMIGIANO REGGIANO STAGE RACE STANDINGS

Tomorrow’s stage 2: Porretta Terme – Fanano

Tomorrow, Monday, September 28th, the riders will line up in Porretta Terme at 8.00 AM for their second effort at Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race: Porretta Terme – Fanano, 65 km from Bologna’s to Modena’s province, sporting a 3.300 mt elevation gain. The stage’s title, “The Technical”, is telling of what there’s in store for the athletes.

After the first 15 km on flat, the long ascent in the woods to the Sboccata dei Bagnadori is expected to make a selection, taking the riders to the Apennine’s ridge, opening an incredible view: the Emilia-Romagna on the right, with the Alps in the background, the Tuscany and the Apuane Alps on the left. 

Through another climb to the Corno alle Scale and the tough Passo dello Strofinatoio, the riders will reach one of the most charming points of the whole course: 1.900 mt-high Lago Scaffaiolo. One last climb to the Passo Croce Arcana will leave way to the technical and fun descent on the CAI 425 trail to Fanano.

 

The countdown is over: Appenninica gets underway in Porretta Terme  

From September 27th to October 3rd, from Porretta Terme to Collecchio, passing through Fanano and Castelnovo ne’ Monti, Appenninica’s second edition starts for 450 km, 16,000 meters of total elevation gain, and featuring big names of the international MTB scene

The wait was longer than initially expected, but now Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage 2020 is ready to go. Tomorrow, on Sunday, September 27th, the second edition of the unique Italian MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines will start with an individual time trial from Porretta Terme (Bologna). Trails, climbs and descents will keep the bikers busy until Saturday, October 3rd, when Collecchio (Parma) and the Giarola Court will celebrate the final winners.

Having been forced to push the event from Summer to Fall due to the epidemiological emergency, the Organizing Committee led by Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno resiliently ran its initiative, and a prestigious starting list has amply rewarded it. That’s a promise of great fun over the 450 km and 16,000 meters of total elevation gain expecting the riders.

The XCM European Champion and former World Champion, Portuguese Tiago Ferreira, will be under the spotlight, making the race even more exciting along with his teammate, Dutch Hans Becking. His presence, however, will also motivate his opponents, starting with the defending champion, Austrian Lukas Kaufmann, who does not intend to give up easily despite a greater competition. As a specialist in this type of events, Spaniard-Honduran Milton Ramos will certainly try to add another race to his important palmares, while Lorenzo Samparisi is probably the top option for the Italian hopes.

Equally exciting is the challenge in the womens’ field, with a former World Champion, Swiss Esther Süss, leading a group of very competitive athletes. Lorenza Menapace, from Trentino, is back a year after winning the event in the pairs’ category (canceled this year due to health reasons), trying to repeat the feat in the individual race, while German Sarah Reiners and Italian Gaia Ravaioli will try once more to prove their talent. Finally, it will also be interesting to see at work former German Olympian Regina Marunde, who raced on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines at the 1991 World Championships in “Il Ciocco”.

In the field, there will be also many athletes and enthusiasts whose experience will be focused more on the charm of the adventure than the competition, a journey to discover their limits, to complete the race and enjoy the beauty of the Apennines and the typical Italian atmosphere.

THE COURSE

The route follows, wherever possible, the MTB trail of the Alta Via dei Parchi that leads all over to Tuscany, touching the provinces of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma. On Sunday, September 27th, the start and the finish of the stage will be in the thermal city of Porretta Terme (Bologna), with a 45-km-long individual time trial and the climb of Mount Piella as a key point, on top of which the beautiful scenery of the Reno valley will open for the riders.

More hurdles expect the athletes on Monday, September 28th, with stage 2 from Porretta Terme to Fanano (Modena) of 60 kilometers, featuring the ascent to the Passo dello Strofinatoio, with the charming coasting of the Scaffaiolo Lake, to continue with the Passo della Croce Arcana, the Passo del Colombino and the descent along the mythical CAI 425 trail.

The third stage on Tuesday, September 29th presents 50 kilometers with start and finish line in Fanano and was charted by renowned trail builder Pippo Marani: it will offer one of the best scenery of the week, with the majestic chestnut woods to frame the first part of the race, before facing highly-entertaining trails, with technical descents, ridges with view and toboggan.

The next day, on Wednesday, September 30th, it is time for the “Queen Stage”, from Fanano to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) for a total of 110 kilometers and over 4,000 meters of elevation gain. Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello and Passo della Cisa will be the climbs on the menu, making for an epic day.

On Thursday, October 1st, Castelnovo ne’ Monti will host the start and the finish of the fifth stage (53 kilometers), taking place by the banks of the Calamone Lake in the first part, and in the nearbies of the Pietra of Bismantova massif in the second, for a rippling race full of ups and downs.

From Castelnovo ne’ Monti the riders will go to Collecchio (Parma) and the Giarola Court for the 94-km-long sixth stage on Friday, October 2nd, and leaving behind the Apennine chain and diving into the Po Valley, with rivers and valleys that will keep company to the riders during the whole stage.

A great racing week will end with the Collecchio-Collecchio stage, on Saturday, October 3rd, with 35 kilometers in the background of the Carrega Woods park, that is sure to be remembered for the ride through the courtyards of historical villas, home to Marie Louise (duchess of Parma and Napoleon’s wife).

Sunday, September 27th: Porretta Terme – Porretta Terme (45 km)
Elevation Gain: 1645 m

Monday, September 28th: Porretta Terme – Fanano (60 km)
Elevation Gain: 2650 m

Tuesday, September 29th: Fanano – Fanno (50 km)
Elevation Gain: 2300 m

Wednesday, September 30th: Fanano – Castelnovo ne’ Monti (110 km)
Elevation Gain: 4300 m

Thursday, October 1st: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti (53 km)
Elevation Gain: 1900 m

Friday, October 2nd: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Collecchio (94 km)
Elevation Gain: 2500 m

Saturday, October 3rd: Collecchio – Collecchio (35 km)
Elevation Gain: 650 m

Riding into the Emilian Parks’ wild with Appenninica

The MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines (September 27th – October 3rd) will cross the Tuscan-Emilian National Park and the Regional Parks of Eastern, Central and Western Emilia: a full-immersion in the wild nature of the Apennines, including three bike parks for the bike enthusiasts

Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race is an event that feels more like a fascinating adventure than merely a race. An experience that you can’t wait to finish – 16,000 mt of elevation gain aside – just to start it over again, take a different direction, and discover the new scenery beyond a junction.

From Sunday, September 27th to Saturday, October 3rd, athletes from all over Europe at the start of the only Italian MTB stage race will follow the tracks charted in the heart of the Emilian Apennines by the technical team of Appenninica. Still, the beauty of the unexplored territory for the MTB world is sure to surprise them at every turn and glimpse.

Wherever possible, the Appenninica course follows the route of the Alta Via dei Parchi: a walking trail between Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Marche, crossing two National Parks, five Regional and one Interregional Park, through about 500 kilometers.

Following the tracks of the Alta Via, the athletes and all the fans of Appenninica can discover the incredible Emilia-Romagna natural heritage. The region boasts an Italian-record 14 Regional parks, as well as countless protected areas.

Starting from the East, the riders will first find the Regional Park Corno alle Scale, five thousand hectares of park dominated by the massif grazing the 2000 meters benchmark. Then will come the Alto Appennino Modenese and the 2165-meters-high Monte Cimone, the highest peak of the northern Apennines and, of course, of Appenninica.

Subsequently, in the province of Reggio Emilia, the Appenninica family will meet the Tuscan-Emilian National Park, in which stands the massive and fascinating Bismantova Rock, but also the Monte Cusna and Monte Ventasso.

When reaching the province of Parma, the athletes will be welcomed by the “Parchi del Ducato” and the Reserve Monte Prinzera, located along the Via Francigena path, an ancient route of medieval pilgrimage. The Taro River Park, whose headquarter is located within the Giarola Court, is a magnificent fortified rural complex, home to the last two stages; the Carrega Woods, whose lakes, meadows, hedges and cultivated fields have long fascinated the Parma nobility, will stage the entire final effort.

“We are proud to host this wonderful international competition in our Protected Natural Areas. This extraordinary landscape setting will certainly fill the eyes and the heart of the athletes with sensations and indelible memories, – explained President of the Managing Body for Parks and Biodiversity of Western Emilia, Agostino MaggialiSports in nature and outdoor activities are among the most important ways to discover and enjoy our Parks and Reserves, combining the collective need for environmental protection and sustainability with individual travel, recreation and wellness”.

Once the Appenninica race week is over, the landscapes and trails will remain available for all the MTB lovers. Indeed, three Bike Parks cover part of the race tracks, starting from the most famous, Monte Cimone, among the largest and most appreciated in Italy. Technical trails and equipped areas for enduro bikers can also be found in Febbio (Reggio Emilia) and Monte Fuso (Parma). There are plenty of ways to have fun and discover the less explored corners of the Apennines.

A closure in style for Appenninica in Collecchio and the Giarola Court

Focus on the stage venues – A fascinating finale expects Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race (September 27th – October 3rd) as the town in the province of Parma and the medieval Corte are set to host the last two stages

Our journey to discover the stage venues of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, ends with Collecchio. Situated in the province of Parma, the town debuts as hosting venue of the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines. In particular, the Giarola Court will be the headquarter of the last two stages and the grand finale after a tough week of competition.

On Friday, October 2nd Collecchio and the Giarola Court will host the sixth stage’s finish, 94 km from the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia), after the athletes have left the Apennine massif for the first time. The protagonist of the central part of the stage will be the town of Calestano, famous for its technical and fun trails, while the valley of the Taro river will bring the riders to the final part of the stage, all the way to the Giarola Court.

The final stage of Appenninica, on Saturday, October 3rd, is a short and fun ring course with Collecchio and the Giarola Court as both start and finish. The first ten kilometers are flat and fast on dirt road and then asphalt, skirting the Taro river before entering the Carrega Woods park. From there, the bikers will have plenty to enjoy over the following 20 km, characterized by fast and technical dirt trails with rapid changes of slopes and direction. The park’s beautiful forest will always be in the background, with passages inside the ancient villas courts where Marie Louise, the Duchess of Parma and wife of Napoleon, stayed. Leaving the park, the remaining kilometers will be a long sprint on asphalt and bike paths until the well-deserved finish line, which will close Appenninica’s second edition. At the final dinner, the bikers will finally be free to taste the local delights with no more regrets.

“We have embraced this challenge with enthusiasm, not only because Appenninica can help making our territory known in Italy and abroad, but also for the sporting value that an event like this conveys – the Mayor of Collecchio, Maristella Galli, explains -. The Collecchio Administration is strongly committed to supporting sports. We believe in sports as a key vehicle of growth for the new generation, even more in this critical time when courage becomes even more of a value, and sports are a perfect benchmark for that.”

COLLECCHIO: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The territory of Collecchio extends to 11 km south-west of Parma in a beautiful area located between hills and plains, where life is in a privileged relationship with the surrounding environment thanks to the presence of two historic regional parks, the Taro river, and the Carrega Woods. Artistic and natural treasures are the lovely setting of Collecchio, an urban center able to combine development with the attention to culture and territory.

Worth a visit are the Arch of the Bargello, which gives access to the town, the ancient parish church of San Prospero and Villa Soragna, a building of the early ‘800, now converted to a public library.

Then there is the Giarola Court, where the race village of the last two stages of Appenninica will be set up. From the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century, it was a Benedictine monastery of San Paolo’s nuns. Inside there is the Romanesque church of San Nicomede and, today, the Corte has been renovated for the public and houses the headquarter of the Taro Park, the Museum of tomato and pasta and a charming restaurant.

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Appetite grows with climbing in Appenninica

More than trails and dirt roads in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines (September 27th-October 3rd), but also tasty local specialties to make the riders’ experience even more special

Ph. E. Melchiorri

Limiting Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race only to the competitive aspect would be overly reductive. From September 27th to October 3rd, the riders will find much more than a MTB stage race: the Appenninica family will help them into the Emilian Apennines’ culture and traditions.

The culinary tradition of the area, and of Italy as a whole, is undoubtedly one big motivation for those choosing the Appenninica adventure. Emilia-Romagna is a region of excellence in terms of cuisine, and the Appenninica organizers want to show it during the race, supported by title sponsor Parmigiano Reggiano and fellow partners Venturini Baldini, I Love Piadina, Parmonie, water supplied by Gruppo SEM and Coop Alleanza 3.0.

At Appenninica, the athletes will have to face more than 450 km and 16 thousand meters of total elevation gain, requiring a great deal of energy to be reintegrated with genuine and traditional food from the areas involved. Each stage venue will present its own specialty to make every stage unique from a gastronomic perspective.

Porretta Terme (Bologna) will present its pappardelle with meat sauceFanano (Modena) the tigelle combined with cold cuts, cheese and stracchino, Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) will treat the riders with the famous “rice bomb” and Collecchio (PR) with the “torta fritta” and cold cuts. Everything will be accompanied by many other local delicacies.

The highlight will then be the grand finale dinner offered by title sponsor Parmigiano Reggiano, in which riders can plunge into the tasting of the excellences of local food and wine. The perfect finishing act of the challenging but gratifying MTB experience in the Emilian Apennines.

“The gastronomic discovery is one of the reasons why we think of Appenninica as an experience, more than just a race – co-organizer Milena Bettocchi explained – Emilia is an internationally-famous area of gastronomic excellence, and living Appenninica without diving in this reality would be like giving up to a huge piece of its cultural heritage.”

“An athlete can finish the Giro d’Italia in Milan without eating the famous cutlet, but he cannot finish Appenninica without discovering the taste of the erbazzone, the fragrance of the torta fritta and the scent of the real mountain Parmigiano Reggiano. It is part of what we are. And it is also for this reason that appetite grows with climbing at Appenninica”, Bettocchi added.

Less than a month to go for star-studded Appenninica

Registrations to the stage race on the Emilian Apennines (September 27th – October 3rd) are closed: an exiciting edition is in the cards with great riders at the start, such as Tiago Ferreira and Esther Süss

September is the month of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race this year: there are now only 26 days left to the start from Porretta Terme (Bologna) of the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, and the ordinary registrations for the upcoming edition have closed on Monday August 31st.

The Organizing Committee headed by Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno resiliently ran their initiative in the tough months of the epidemic emergency, moving the race from the summer to the autumn season and working to ensure the event in full safety for both athletes and insiders.

This tenacity has been largely rewarded by a prestigious list of starters: many riders have been fascinated by the general offer of the course, a very demanding challenge with its 16 thousand meters of total elevation gain, and also by the beauty and scenery of the Apennines, an area still to be discovered, not only by bike.

There is going to be a tight battle both in the men’s and women’s competition: on the one hand current champion Lukas Kaufmann, European and former World Champion Tiago Ferreira, Milton Ramos, Hans Becking and Lorenzo Samparisi, while on the other hand the former World Champion Esther Süss, Gaia Ravaioli, Sarah Reiners, former Olympian Regina Marunde and Lorenza Menapace, just to mention some of the most anticipated protagonists.

“Despite a year with unique circumstances – Beppe Salerno explained – the participation numbers are very interesting, with some prominent names of the MTB world. Due to the COVID-19, several athletes arriving from outside Europe, particularly from the United States and South Africa, have had to give up the event, but will not miss the opportunity to be here in 2021″.

HE COURSE

Logistic reasons have forced a variation on the course of the last two stages, concerning in particular the stage venue. Collecchio (Parma) and the charming Corte di Giarola will replace Noceto (Parma) with no strictly technical changes in the course since the two municipalities are next to each other. “We thank Noceto for the availability and collaboration offered in recent months – Beppe Salerno commented – and we hope to return to visit it in the years to come. At the same time, we warmly welcome Collecchio, that will have the honor to crown the winner of a second edition that promises to be really enticing”.

Sunday, September 27th: Porretta Terme – Porretta Terme (45 km)
Elevation Gain: 1645 m

Monday, September 28th: Porretta Terme – Fanano (60 km)
Elevation Gain: 2650 m

Tuesday, September 29th: Fanano – Fanno (50 km)
Elevation Gain: 2300 m

Wednesday, September 30th: Fanano – Castelnovo ne’ Monti (110 km)
Elevation Gain: 4300 m

Thursday, October 1st: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti (53 km)
Elevation Gain: 1900 m

Friday, October 2nd: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Collecchio (94 km)
Elevation Gain: 2500 m

Saturday, October 3rd: Collecchio – Collecchio (35 km)
Elevation Gain: 650 m

World Champion Tiago Ferreira stars in Appenninica’s starting list

The 2016 XCM World Champion will be at the start of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race (September 27th – October 3rd) with the DMT Racing Team by Andrea Marconi, which will also line up another remarkable biker in Dutch Hans Becking

Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race 2020 is ready to welcome the big names of the international mountain bike scene. The DMT Racing Team by Andrea Marconi riders were the latest to accept the challenge of the Emilian Apennines, taking place from September 27th to October 3rd. Lining up in Porretta Terme (Bologna) will be former World Champion Tiago Ferreira and another established international rider like Hans Becking.

Born in 1988, Portuguese Ferreira jumped to the headlines a few weeks ago, when he managed to break the record of “double Everesting”, exceeding 18 thousand meters of elevation gain on his bike in 24 hours. Now he should, therefore, be ready for the 16 thousand meters of elevation gain of the Appenninica’s course. However, this was only the latest feat of a career full of success, such as the XCM World Title in 2016 in Laissac, France, making him the only Portuguese World Champion in cycling together other than Rui Costa in the 2013 Road Race. Ferreira was also crowned European Champion twice, in Svit (Slovakia), 2017, and Kvam (Norway), 2019. In addition to these triumphs, several World Cup victories make him one of the most successful active bikers.

“I am happy that somebody has finally decided to organize a MTB stage race in ItalyAndrea Marconi, owner of the DMT Racing Team, based in San Severino Marche (Macerata), explained -. We traveled the world, doing races of all kinds, and I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a race like this in our Country. Therefore, our participation is an investment in this discipline, hoping that Italians can discover it and get closer and closer to MTB. The Apennines are still quite unexplored by the bike world, and we always like to discover, which is why we wanted to support the enthusiasm and passion of these organizers”.

Even Becking’s curriculum is impressive, since he was Dutch National Champion in both Cross-Country and Marathon disciplines. Few bikers can say that they won in every corner of the world as the 1986-born biker did. Becking has won the Brasil Ride three times and the Epic Israel twice, in addition to the victory at La Leyenda del Dorado in Colombia and several successes between Spain and Portugal.

For both Ferreira and Becking, the Apennines represent a brand-new challenge: nevertheless, they will line up as two of the main favorites, even more after the success in Colina Triste, Spain, a few weeks ago, where they raced in pair. “I don’t expect an easy race: there will be many pitfalls, and there is no lack of talented opponents. Racing individually and not in pairs will allow us to have two cards to play. Overall it’s a tough race, even if our riders become stronger when the elevation gain increases,” Marconi concluded.

Fanano, a movie set for Appenninica

Focus on the stage venues – The challenging trails and magnificent scenery of the town in the Province of Modena will host two stages and the start of the Queen Stage of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race (on September 28th, 29th and 30th)

The discovery journey through Appenninica Parmigiano Reggiano Stage 2020‘s stage venues, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, continues. After the opening stage in Porretta Terme (Bologna), the Appenninica family will move towards the Province of Modena, as Fanano, after the excellent feedback from last year, decided to double its commitment in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines, welcoming two stages and the launch of the Queen Stage in the 2020 route.

On Monday, September 28th, Fanano’s city center will host the finish of the second stage. On day three, though, on Tuesday, September 29th, the mountain town in the Modena’s Province will be in the spotlight as start and finishing venue of a stage full of fascinating natural trails and breathtaking landscapes. The course was charted by renowned trail builder Pippo Marani, and named “Pippo Yeah” after its architect.

The stage starts on the tarmac, quickly gaining elevation towards Taburri, before entering a trail up to the Colombino Pass. The following descent dives into the majestic chestnut woods, riding on dirt roads until reaching Capanno Tassoni.

After leaving the hut behind, the view will open over a succession of beautiful scenery and wide landscapes, which will not divert the attention from the singletracks on the ridges that follow one another between the Croce Arcana, Lake Scaffaiolo and Passo del Lupo. There are a few portage sections, but the descent towards the finish line will fully repay the effort, featuring a compilation of fun trails, technical sections, ridges and berms, straight towards Fanano.

There’s more to it, though. On Wednesday September 30th Fanano will launch the participants towards Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the province of Reggio Emilia, for the 105 km and 4200 mt of elevation gain of the Queen Stage, passing from the Monte Cimone to Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello and Passo della Cisa. It will be a crucial day for Appenninica’s final classification.

Stage 3 and 4 were also covered by the recon of the pro rider Andrea Tiberi, who showed the course features in an emotional video available on the official channels of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race.

“We believe in Apenninica because Fanano has more than 200 km of trails, and we see MTB as an important asset for tourism – the Mayor of Fanano Stefano Muzzarelli explained -. In 2019 Appenninica brought passionate bikers from all over the World, and that was great for us. Foreign tourism is on the rise here, and it is based on sports, nature and good food: that’s where our strategy is headed. We thank Appenninica’s organizers for their commitment: seeing our territory in the top magazines in mountain bike is the icing on the cake for us.”

FANANO: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Fanano is a mountain town immersed in the nature, located in the “Parco dell’Alto Appennino Modenese” at the foot of the Monte Cimone‘s massif (m. 2165, the highest peak touched by Appenninica), with an area whose altitude varies from 600 to 2165 meters. It is ideal for cycling and hiking. Cimone is often a destination for freeride enthusiasts, as it hosts one of the most important BikeParks in Italy.

Thanks to the beauty of this area, Fanano set some relevant Italian movies, such as “Una Gita Scolastica” (1983) by Pupi Avati, whose final scene was filmed at Lake Scaffaiolo, where Appeninica’s participants will also pass by. “Tutto Quello Che Vuoi” (2015) by Francesco Bruni, winner of Italian “David di Donatello” featuring Giuliano Montaldo, was filmed in the Ospitale. Finally, “Zen Sul Ghiaccio Sottile” (2018) by Margherita Ferri, was set at the Fanano’s ice stadium and presented at the Venice Film Festival.

The city is particularly proud of Felice Pedroni (Felix Pedro 1858 -1910), a pioneer born in the Municipality of Fanano who, in the era of gold prospectors, contributed to the foundation and became the president of the new mining district of Fairbanks (Alaska). In the Linea Gotica Museum in Trignano it is possible to find out more about his adventurous life.

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VIDEO: More than a Pro rider. Andrea Tiberi discovers the Appenninica experience  

The Italian MTB veteran seized the opportunity to see what the Italian MTB stage race has got in store for its participants from September 27 to October 3, 2020. An electrifying mix of mountains, trails and stunning views on one of the most unspoiled areas in Italy

He has got an Italian National Championship and an Olympic race participation to his name over a long top-level career in cross country MTB, but calling Andrea Tiberi “just” a Pro rider would miss a significant part of the whole story.

Tiberi’s deep love for cycling and adventure is what brought him wandering around the Alps for the pure sake of discovery. Hence, when the call from Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race came, the 34-year-old from Oulx (Piedmont, Northern Italy) could not resist to the lures of a new, unspoiled land to discover on two wheels: the Emilian Apennines.

In the late-July days when the 2020 edition was first supposed to take place, Tiberi traveled to the Apennines to discover what the exacting course of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race has got in store for the riders from September 27th to 3rd, 2020.

Tiberi’s trip, recorded by the Appenninica’s video crew, focused on two of the most anticipated stages of the race: the third, starting and finishing in Fanano, and the fourth, the Queen stage, with no less than 105 km and 4.200 mt of elevation gain from Fanano to Castelnovo ne’ Monti, just under the iconic Bismantova Rock.

“You don’t really know a land until you go and check it out yourself. That was definitely true for the Apennines,” Tiberi admitted. “As a person who hails from the Alps, we have the tendency of thinking of ours as the ‘real’ mountains in Italy. I was impressed to see how much I was missing here in the Apennines.”

“The peaks might not be as high as on the Alps, but the climbs, the unique mountain atmosphere, the stunning views, are a joy to behold. It’s a land of cycling and outdoor opportunities, waiting to be discovered.”

Andrea Tiberi’s experience covered it all: from the exchanges with the locals to the authentic taste of the mountain Parmigiano Reggiano, made right in the Apennines area. Obviously, though, the main course were the climbs and trails of one of the most challenging courses in the whole MTB stage races’ scenario: “Amazing course, really technical but offering plenty of fun all the times. Honestly, here I found some of the most beautiful and charming passages I can recall in my whole life,” Tiberi acknowledged.

The video is available for sharing and embedding through Youtube and Social Networks.

KTM Dama Selle SMP Pro Team aims high at Appenninica

Lorenzo Samparisi and Gaia Ravaioli are set to compete for the overall crown in the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race (September 27th – October 3rd)

With now less than 50 days to go to the start in Porretta Terme, new remarkable names keep joining the Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race‘s starting list. The KTM Alchemist Dama Selle SMP were the latest team in time to have made official their participation in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd.

Based in Tirano (Sondrio), the team boasts a significant international experience and a prestigious palmares. Their activity is split between the disciplines of MTB and Cyclocross, and the backbone of the team is made by the Samparisi: Nicolas and Lorenzo are the top riders, while Simone – a former rider himself – is the General Manager. Lorenzo Samparisi and Gaia Ravaioli, who just won the Pedalonga in Comelico Superiore (Belluno), will come to Appenninica with the intention of competing for the final victory.

“We wished to come to Appenninica already last year, but we couldn’t due to calendar circumstances – explained KTM Dama Selle SMP General Manager Simone Samparisi, who will join the two riders in the race together with the team physio. “The race fascinates us; we like the format and we were looking for a hard course just like this. We will come to Appenninica with many racing days in the legs, including the Swiss Epic, so we expect to be in a very solid condition. As with every race, we will line up at the start to win, even if we know that the competition will be tough”.

Lorenzo Samparisi, born in 1993, won the Gran Fondo Val di Noto 2019 and achieved several prestigious placements around Europe. At Appenninica he will be one of the main Italian hopes to clash against the likes of favorites Lukas Kaufmann and Milton Ramos.

Gaia Ravaioli graduated Endurance World Champion (24H solo) in 2017 and 2019, has worn the Italian Marathon National team’s jersey, and won the World Cup race in Spilimbergo in 2019. The 16-thousand-metre of total elevation gain seem to fit perfectly the 1988-born athlete from Genoa, who thrives when the mileage gets higher. The challenge in the women’s field is set to be exciting, with many legitimate contenders joining the ranks in Porretta Terme (Bologna).

“Lorenzo was born in Rimini and knows the Emilian Apennines’ area well – Simone Samparisi continued -. We hope this will prove to be an advantage on the way to a solid result. For Gaia it will be a first time, but she has what it takes to copes with the threats of the Apennines’ trails.”

Porretta’s thermal baths and music await Appenninica family

Focus on the stage venues – On Sunday September 27th and Monday 28th, the main town of Alto Reno Terme municipality will host Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race’s opening time trial and the start of the second stage

It is time to discover the four municipalities that will host the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd. Porretta Terme (Alto Reno Terme’s main town) and the Province of Bologna will set the stage start, confirming their commitment after welcoming the fourth stage of the 2019 edition.

On Sunday, September 27th, Piazza della Libertà in Porretta Terme will be closed to traffic and well prepped to welcome the Appenninica family before their first effort. A 43-km individual time trial will get things started, with start and finish in the heart of the thermal town in the province of Bologna. After the first steady 5 km climb on secondary roads, with some short steeper sections, the bikers will cross the ancient village of Castelluccio and Manservisi Castle’s park where a beautiful forest road starts and climbs up to 1300 mt.

A fast double track will lead to the “Pian dello Stellaio” prairie where the course turns and points again to Mount Cavallo with a beautiful single track opening a stunning view over the Apennines. A technical section precedes the end of this trail before the following climb, with some portage sections, to the summit of Mount Piella and its panoramic point, with a cross overlooking the Reno valley. The final downhill in the forest follows an ancient path dotted by small hamlets. Bikers will then face one more technical section before the stairway that marks the finish in the center of Porretta Terme.

The village close to Bologna will also launch the 65-km second stage of Appenninica towards Fanano (Modena), on Monday, September 28th. The first part is demanding with the climb starting from the Rifugio della Segavecchia and leading to Sboccata dei Bagnadori all inside the forest. The bikers will then ride to the Apennine ridge and the Corno delle Scale mountain before entering the province of Modena to face a techincal and tricky final.

“Appenninica is a premium opportunity to team up with all the Emilia-Romagna municipalities to promote the Northern Apennines and the Alta Via dei Parchi – the Mayor of Alto Reno Terme Giuseppe Nanni explained -. Confirming our commitment in the race shows our confidence in the opportunity of diversifying the tourist offer, leveraging on sports activities related to green and eco-sustainable tourism. Appenninica has an international flair and contributes to create a new image of Alto Reno Terme, linked to thermal baths, wellness, nature, sports and leisure, with an excellent gastronomic offer”.

PORRETTA TERME: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Alto Reno Terme is a town in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, renowned for its thermal waters, the green of its forests and picturesque villages set in its mountains. Not by chance, it has been awarded by the EDEN project as a destination of excellence in sustainable tourism.

The main town, Porretta Terme, is home to important musical events such as the Porretta Soul Festival and many others (Prog Festival, Jazz Festival, international courses of classical music etc.). The local gastronomy is renowned, thanks to its typical products (in particular chestnuts, such as the “neccio”, “tortino di Porretta” and chestnut beer) and positively contaminated by the culinary traditions of Emilia and Tuscany.

The rich and fascinating trails network allows to carry out mountain biking and trekking activities in an uncontaminated environment. Not to be missed, in particular, are the Suviana and Brasimone Lakes Park and the Rifugio Montecavallo, nestled in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

Hibros joins Appenninica’s family

Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race welcomes Hibros in his big family as a new technical sponsor. The company from Bologna is specialized in massage creams and creams for the perineal area. It is perfect for taking care of the muscles after the efforts to which all athletes of Appenninica will be subjected.

Hibros products will be used by masseurs chosen by the organizing committee at the end of each stage, but will also be part of the prizes for the final winners, and thanks to the single doses included in the race package, all the Appenninica’s athletes will have the opportunity to test them.

Hibros Chemical Laboratory was founded in Bologna at the end of the 19th century by the Nadalini family, initially for the production of hair care products. In 1967 he obtained a licence for the production of bleaches and products for the treatment of face and body, while in 1999 was born the cosmetic line Hibros Sport, dedicated to athletes and in particular to the cycling industry.

Thanks to the collaboration with professional masseurs, the Hibros brand has become a reference point for the athletes of the most important cycling teams in the world, as well as official sponsor of the Italian Cycling Federation.

Safety first for Appenninica: new rules for enhanced prevention

The organizers of the Italian MTB stage race (September 27th- October 3rd) are developing anti-COVID prevention measures, according to the guidelines provided by the Italian Federation and the Government. Two significant changes to the race format: the race will be only individual, and the first stage in Porretta Terme becomes a time trial

Italy seems to have left behind the most critical phase of the Covid-19 emergency, but attention needs to stay high as cycling competitions are about to restart in the Country. The organizers of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race are putting in the utter effort so that the stage race, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, can be held in total safety for athletes, insiders, and the public.

The Italian Cycling Federation ensured the possibility to return racing, respecting the prevention guidelines for individual or collective races. Appenninica’s organizing committee has, therefore, made significant arrangements to reduce any risk situation significantly.

In recent weeks the organizers have been constantly in touch with the athletes and their staff, updating them on the developments of the emergency in Italy and the conduct codes established by the national and sporting authorities. At the same time, in addition to creating the Anti-Infection Committee, Appenninica is instructing its staff, volunteers, and external partners to provide more extensive knowledge of the prevention measures.

The so-called “Yellow Zone”, which brings together athletes and professionals, will be kept under close surveillance to avoid unnecessary contacts and maintain, wherever possible, social distance. For this reason, some technical procedures initially planned will be modified, or deleted, to minimize the risk of gathering in sensitive areas.

In addition to temperature measurement with thermoscanners, there will be several stations dispensing gel sanitizer and specific signals with the conduct rules in the race and common areas. Precautions will also be taken for refreshments and evening dinners, avoiding buffets, while athletes will be forbidden to exchange bottles among them.

“FCI guidelines follow the right way for the prevention – Beppe Salerno, co-organizer along with Milena Bettocchi, explains -. At this stage, it is crucial to be cautious, because the Covid-19 has still to be defeated. We are confident that these measures, together with the common sense of all those involved, will allow us to race in complete safety”.

For this reason, two relevant modifications to the race format were decided to further reduce the risk of infection. The first is the abolition of the “Team” category for the 2020 edition: therefore each biker will compete individually and not in pairs, with all riders being reassigned to their individual categories: “In this situation, bike, tools and any other object in and outside the race must be personal, and also the exchange of water bottles and bars is not allowed: we love the ‘Team’ formula, but we believe it is safer to renounce it as a further preventive measure for this year. Moreover, with the current extraordinary regulations, the podium is necessarily limited to three athletes”, Beppe Salerno explained.

The second change concerns the first stage on Sunday, September 27th, starting and finishing in Porretta Terme (Bologna), which becomes an individual time trial. Such an option will allow better management of the starts, with distanced starting grids enacted from stage two.

Useful information about Appenninica

Appenninica is a full-service race, so the registration fee already includes many services: from overnight stays to meals and technical assistance and many others. However, some extra service packages are also available to make the experience more complete and comfortable.

The race will touch four provinces, in four municipalities immersed in the Apennines beauty, over seven stages. It will start from Porretta Terme (Bologna), that will host the first stage (individual time trial) and the start of the second, then move to Fanano (Modena) and from the fourth, the Queen Stage of over 4000 meters of elevation gain, in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia). The finish of the last two stages will be in Noceto (Parma), in the heart of the Parmigiano Reggiano production area. THE STAGES IN DETAIL

Registrations for Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race are open on the website. Teams that have not yet had the opportunity to plan the 2020 season can contact the organizers for participation.

 

KeForma and Strategic Nutrition Center join Appenninica’s team

The new “Official Sports Nutrition Partners” of the MTB stage race (September 27th-October 3rd, 2020) will give athletes an essential nutritional and integrative contribution.

Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race family has grown bigger thanks to the agreement with KeForma and Strategic Nutrition Center, which become “Official Sports Nutrition Partner” for the second edition of the MTB stage race, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, 2020.

 To face a challenge like Appenninica, you need to pay special attention to details, like training, materials, rest time, and the choice of correct nutrition.

KeForma will give an important contribution to the athletes during the racing week on the Emilian Apennines, including its products in the athletes’ race package and making them available in the feed zones along the course, at the start and finish of the various stages.

The company from San Marino produces a complete line of supplements thought for sports and physical well-being, using active ingredients and certified raw materials of the highest quality, aimed at the specific needs of athletes of any level. Over the last few years, KeForma supplements have received remarkable awards from numerous professional teams and internationally renowned athletes. They are now ready to get involved with the challenge of Appenninica.

Joining the field is also Strategic Nutrition Center, whose mission and method perfectly match with Appenninica. The Bologna-based center’s philosophy focuses on teamwork, synergy, and confrontation with other professionals, with improvement, innovation, and continuous learning as a goal.

Born from the idea of Dr. Lorenzo Bergami, Nutritionist Biologist, an expert in Sports Nutrition, Integration and Nutraceutical and Anti-aging Potentiative Medicine, Strategic Nutrition Center will be at Appenninica with a team of experts, giving athletes the opportunity to undergo a Body Composition visit (BIA) at the start and finish of some stages.

“We decided to collaborate with Appenninica, because we love challenges, and teaming up with those who thrive for them – Dr. Bergami explains -. Seven stages in the Emilian Apennines woods are a unique opportunity for riders to test themselves and see how far they can get: any time they should be in trouble, we will be on hand to support them to the finish line”.

Appenninica welcomes Olympian Regina Marunde

The German MTB International from 1991 to 2004 took part in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and is now ready to test herself on the trails of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race

The passion for mountain biking never vanishes, no matter if you are no longer a professional. Regina Marunde, born in 1968, knows it well: after having trod the most important MTB international races between the 90s and 2000 as a professional, she is still looking for new challenges on her bike in her present as as osteopath and personal trainer.

Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, is one of these challenges, and the German athlete from Berlin looks to have fun and discover the hurdles of the Emilian Apennines.

“I cannot wait to face the real mountains again after the break due to the virus – Regina admits -. Staying in Berlin without the opportunity to test myself on challenging races was really frustrating, so I am eager to discover the routes of the Emilian Apennines and do what I like most: take my MTB and enjoy some real trails”.

Regina Marunde was a German international from 1991 to 2004, taking part in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where she finished seventh, and in several World Championships and Cups. She had a good chance of being selected for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games as well, but a bad fall caused her several fractures, with no chances to recover in time to go to Greece. That year, in fact, she managed to win the challenging Transalp in the German Alps, going on to finish third the following year.

Lukas Kaufmann eyes Appenninica repeat in 2020

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”.

Appenninica changes dates, moves to September 27th- October 3rd 2020

Noted the persistent uncertainty about the regular course of sports events, the MTB stage race’s organizers decided to postpone the MTB stage race to the autumn: “We want to offer more guarantees”

There is to wait a couple of months longer than expected to live the Mountain Bike challenge in the heart of Emilian Apennines. Having assessed the constant situation of uncertainty regarding the conditions and methods of carrying out sports events after the emergency from Covid-19, Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race decided to postpone the second edition of the race to the next autumn, from September 27th to October 3rd, 2020.

The main features of the race will not change even if there will be a few more yellow leaves. Originally scheduled from July 19th to 25th, Appenninica ranks among the hardest stage races in the international calendar and the Emilian Apennines, through the provinces of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, and Parma, are the ideal setting.

“These dates give us more guarantees and meet the needs of everyone – Beppe Salerno, Head of the organizing committee along with Milena Bettocchi, explains -. We evaluated the situation day by day because a 460 km stage race in seven days requires planning and coordination, and this seemed to be the best choice for us. We are particularly grateful to the sponsors, and to the four host municipalities, Alto Reno Terme, Fanano, Castelnovo ne’ Monti, and Noceto, that have not pulled back and also supported the new placement in the calendar”.

The ambition to repeat the first edition’s success motivates the organizers: “Only a few MTB stage races are still standing in this very tough season. Despite the difficult circumstances, we are part of a small group of tenacious organizers who are still hoping to deliver a great experience to their participants.”

Determination, but also a keen awareness of the existing situation: “The Appenninica Family’s safety comes first for us. We are in touch with all the participants to inform them of every development, monitor the health and regulatory evolution daily, and we are studying the most appropriate solutions so that everyone can live the experience in the utmost safety and serenity. We hope that the good signals coming out from this lockdown phase will be confirmed and that these two more months allow us to race Appenninica in its usual entertaining atmosphere”.

As already made clear by Appenninica’s organizers, no one will lose his participation fee. “In these days we talked with our athletes, and many of them were enthusiasts for the new dates,” Salerno continues -. “Anyway, since the beginning of the emergency, we ensured alternatives for anybody who wouldn’t be able to participate under these conditions.”

The participation fees already paid for the 2020 edition will roll over to the new dates – from September 27th to October 3rd – and if the rider is not available to attend the event in 2020 for any reason, the participation fee will be valid for the 2021 event.

All the registered riders also have the option to cancel according to the current cancellation policy.

Appenninica doesn’t stop and ponders Autumn move

Pending the decisions of the Italian Government, the organizers continue to work for the 19-25 July fixture, while also weighing options for an alternative date in September/ October 2020, should the original one become unavailable

In Italy activities are gradually reopening, but there is still little certainty about sports events, whose organizers are trying to realize what will be feasible or not in the next few months.

Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race keeps working on its second edition, though the original dates, from July 19 to 25, will remain on the mend until the Italian Government and the Italian Cycling Federation will deliberate on the regulations on mass events. Possible restrictions for international travelling will also factor in the Asd Happy Trail MTB organizers’ decision.

“The ministerial decree has restored the possibility to circulate by bike from May 4thBeppe Salerno, Head of the organizing committee along with Milena Bettocchi, explained -. At the same time, we don’t have the elements to make a final call on the Appenninica’s date just yet. We acknowledge that there is a chance July 19-25 could be too premature in this situation: that is why we are doing our due diligence with our partners, host municipalities, Italian Cycling Federation and sponsors, to verify the option of pushing the event to September or October.”

A final decision will be taken by the end of May. Appenninica organizers had already previously taken stock of the unique circumstances, and modified the cancellation policy, so to ensure to all the registered athletes and to those willing to participate the utmost flexibility and peace of mind.

 

Parmigiano Reggiano supports hospitals in Covid-19 fight

The main partner of Appenninica MTB Stage Races has allocated one million euros to support the hospitals’ work and sustain its dairies

Ph. E. Melchiorri

The love for your own territory can be expressed in many ways and Parmigiano Reggiano, title sponsor of Appenninica MTB Stage Race, scheduled from July 19th to 25th, chose to act.

The consortium took the field to support Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua‘s hospitals during this period of critical health emergency.

The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium’s Board of Direction has decided the allocation of one million euros for emergency supplies, destined in particular to purchase technical equipment such as ambulances and respirators.

In addition, a supply of cheese will be donated to the hospital for the nutrition of its operators, to help relieve the efforts of doctors and nurses fighting day and night against Covid-19 since several weeks.

In this very tough juncture also from an economic point of view, the consortium chose to adopt an internal solidarity policy for its 330 dairies with PDO productions. A financial contribution will be paid to the dairies that are currently unable to process milk into cheese, due to quarantine or Covid-19 related provisions, and are therefore forced to sell it at a low price as drinking milk.

Parmigiano Reggiano follows a strict production discipline that counts a limited production area, including the mountain and pre-mountain communities of the Apennines in the provinces of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma, right where Appenninica MTB Stage Race will take place.

In an overall challenging moment for Italy as a whole, Emilia-Romagna has certainly been affected intensely. The Appenninica organizing team is grateful to Parmigiano Reggiano for the important contribution to the health services and companies in the area, and proud of partnering with a company so strongly bound to the territory we love so fondly.

Appenninica offers certainties: full guarantee for the participants

The MTB stage race is working for the 2020 edition (19-25 July) and facing the COVID-19 health emergency: in case of postponement of renouncement for Coronavirus-related reasons, the registration will be kept valid for the next edition

Italian and International media are invaded by the COVID-19 emergency, many sport events have been cancelled and calendars turned upside down. However, in this uncertain juncture, Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race wants to be close to its participants and to all those wishing to join the race, scheduled from the next July 19th to 25th. The event’s policy has been amended in order to allow everybody to make their choices in full serenity.

The organizers keep working for the event from their home places, respecting the decree issued by the Italian Government, with the goal of being ready on the starting line in Porretta Terme (Bologna). “As difficult as it is to talk about MTB on days like these, when other issues are coming to the fore, the experience of endurance races as Appenninica is the perfect metaphor for situations like this, in which it is necessary to make renunciations and sacrifices in order to reach the goal” Milena Bettocchi of organizing company Asd Happy Trail MTB explained.

“We are confident that Appenninica will be able to take place as planned, in the special atmosphere that characterized the first edition. We believe it is important to think positive, especially in moments like this. At the same time, we are keeping a very close eye on the COVID-19 emergency and developments, and we feel the responsibility of going the extra mile to reassure our registered participants and those who are considering to join”.

Making choices in this moment can be tough, and that’s why Appenninica has decided to make some important changes in both its registration and cancellation policies.

The organizers have decided to eliminate the “Late Registration” price bracket altogether and, therefore, apply the “Regular Registration” fee from now until registration closes.

The cancellation policy is instead modified accordingly to the following:

Should Appenninica be canceled by the organizer due to the COVID-19 emergency, the participation fee isn’t lost, and it will become a credit for the participant to take part in a later 2020 race or, should postponing not be possible, towards the 2021 edition.

Should an athlete withdraw from the 2020 edition – July or the postponed date – due to reasons linked to the COVID-19 health emergency and backed by objective and proven reasons, in such event the participation fee will be rolled over to the 2021 event.

All riders registered have the option to cancel according to the cancellation policy at the time, or to roll over their registration as a full credit towards the new 2020 date or 2021 event.

In the uncertainty caused by the virus, Appenninica wants to give a certainty to its athletes: no one will lose their participation fee because of COVID-19.

 

When the tough gets going: Appenninica’s Queen Stage

105 km and over 4,200 meters of elevation gain: plenty of fun and suffering in the fourth stage of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, from Fanano to Castelnovo ne’ Monti. It will be one of the hardest stages of the whole 2020 MTB season

There will be plenty to discover and plenty to conquer through the 458 km of the 2020 edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, facing continuous gradients up and down, scattered all over the seven stages from July 19th to 25th, dealing with dirt roads, stones and single trails.

However, there is a date circled in red by all the Appenninica’s braves: Wednesday, July 22nd, the day of stage 4, the Queen stage of this edition. 105 km from Fanano (Modena) to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) with over 4200 meters of elevation gain. The elevation gain to kilometres ratio makes the Queen Stage of Appenninica one of the hardest of all the stage races in 2020: a reason of extra pride for those who will be able to complete it.

“The interpretation of this stage won’t be easy – Course Director Luca Bortolotti explained -. After the start in Fanano, we will head towards the Mount Cimone, a climb mainly in tarmac of almost 18 kilometers with fairly constant gradient. The last part will be on a forest road and we will move on a ridge that will precede the first long descent towards Pievepelago, all on trail, and a final part on an old mule track, with many curves”.

“It is important to recover in this section as in Pievepelago a new ascent begins along the Rio Perticara that leads to the Passo del Saltello: another long climb on a trail. In fact, from kilometer 30 to 95 we will have 90% of dirt roads, which will test the abilities of the athletes with many pitfalls and no space to breathe”.

“After descending to Civago, riders will find one of the most beautiful and fascinating trails of the whole week. From Civago, they will climb up through a long cross, very technical and full of “ups and downs”, sure to be felt in the riders’ legs aster 70 km. The athletes will then arrive in Rescadore with a fast section, with many changes of pace on a surface full of stones and obstacles. From there another long ascent runs alongside the refuge Mount Orsaro and ends on the Passo della Cisa, where the riders will be able to breathe for a few moments. A trail leads up to the medieval village of Sologno and then to the bridge that crosses the Secchia river, from where it is possible to admire the Bismantova Rock. They will then return on asphalt on the provincial road until the finish of Castelnovo ne’ Monti”.

The stage winner will take six to six and half hours to finish the race, “but even the most trained riders will have to suffer”, Bortolotti said. But the true nature of Appenninica is to win the challenge with yourself, regardless the GC position. That’s why Appenninica opted to abolish the time limit for the two stages longer than 100 km. “We want everyone to come to Appenninica with the desire of testing themselves and give them the opportunity to succeed. We are their main supporters” Bortolotti concluded.

On the day, the bikers will race in the midst of the Parmigiano Reggiano production area, and a breathtaking scenary will frame their efforts on the MTB. It is not by coincidence that the Tuscan and Emilian Apennines, where the majority of the Appenninica action unfolds, were chosen by the UNESCO as MAB Reserve (Man and the Biosphere) to promote a balanced relationship between man and the environment through the protection of biodiversity and good practices of sustainable development.

Efforts rewarded by high-class services at Appenninica

There are many ways to live the experience in the Emilian Apennines from July 19th to 25th, with the full-service formula and quality extras. On February 29th the “regular registration” period ends

Race plus adventure: that’s the formula that inspired the concepts the Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race organizers to create a unique mix of unexplored trails, scenic beauties, steep climbs and technical descents, all to discover in an unforgettable week, from July 19th to 25th. But the journey is only part of the experience.

As in the first edition and following the standards of the main international MTB stages races, Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race is a “full service” race. Within the registration fee, athletes are provided services such as accommodation, dinners, refreshments and everything else necessary to face the adventure, focusing only on enjoying it in full.

As traditional for marathon stage races, the athletes will be offered inside dormitories set up in the host locations for the overnight stays. However, those who want to treat themselves with some extra comfort will have access to two hotel options, of different levels, with an additional cost.

In a territory with a great gastronomic tradition such as the Emilian Apennines, house of the main sponsor Parmigiano Reggiano, every day Appenninica offers its participants breakfasts and dinners with typical products of the area, with attention also to vegetarian diets. In addition, riders will find a well-deserved lunch based on fruits and carbohydrates at the end of each stage.

Refreshments, complete or liquid, will be offered during the stages. Fresh fruit and dried fruit, sweet and savory bread, tarts, energy bars and gels, isotonic sports drinks with salts, water and cola will be available in the complete refreshments, while gel and energy drinks will be offered in the liquid ones.

A one-week stage race can be very stressful for a bike, and that’s why an emergency mechanical repairs of emergency and lubrication point will be located at one of the refreshments area on the route, while self-service bikes washing will be available at the end of the stage with hydro-low pressure cleaning machines. The safe bike park, guarded day and night, is available to every competitor, each of whom will be equipped with a GPS tracker to ensure maximum safety, to monitor the position in the race at all times, and be able to detect any problems and take action if needed.

For those less accustomed to bicycle maintenance, it will also be possible to get some help from the mechanical assistance service out of the race, at an extra cost: the mechanics will wait for the bike at the end of each effort, to return it in perfect condition the next morning.

Also muscles need care after the efforts of Appenninica: for those who want to treat their muscles after the fatigues of day, a guided stretching with a certified Yoga instructor will be held, while massages of 25 minutes with a physiotherapist will be available as an optional package.

The organizers of Appenninica thought of many ways to customize the race experience, also for those who want to live the experience not on the bike, alongside their beloved ones. For those who want to face the adventure accompanied by not-participating wife and children or wish to add a few days of relax to the efforts of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, Tourissimo-Active Travel in Italy offers the possibility to arrive a few days in advance for a short SPA holiday in Alto Reno Terme (Porretta) or to stop after the race to explore the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna and the delicacies of the Parmigiano Reggiano dairies.

“Supporter” and “touristic” packages are thought for non-racers. The first allows access to the Race Village and its services, while giving the opportunity to follow the race from inside; the second is designed to be a “real” holiday pack, with its own program parallel to that of the race. Every day is possible to discover something new and special, before heading to the finish area in order not to miss the last meters of the stage of the favorite athlete.

The Appenninici: from doctor to competitor, the trajectory of Debora Lana

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race characters have plenty of stories to tell, either about life or sports. After taking part in the first two editions as a doctor in the race village, in 2021, Debora Lana decided to face the Appenninica challenge on her bike

While the spirit behind Appenninica MTB Stage Race – the MTB stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, scheduled this year from 4 to 10 September, is to create a friendly and familiar atmosphere where everyone can feel at home, there are different ways to live and enjoy those intense moments. 

Someone who has joined the extended Appenninica family is Debora Lana, a doctor by profession but a passionate biker in her leisure time. After taking part in the first two editions as doctor at the race village, last year, Debora decided to exchange her scrub for a cycling uniform to experience the paths of the Apennines.

“After the first two editions as race doctor, I was curious to try the experience as a participant because I had never competed in mountain bike stage races. Following a specific training program, I decided to try the adventure. I was pleasantly surprised, both for being able to complete it and for the good performance,” said Debora Lana. 

Those who have experienced the Apennines know how much this event can leave an indelible mark, creating lasting memories and relationships. And even more so for those who have lived it in two guises.

Maybe it is because I have lived the Appenninica experience on both sides that I feel deeply a part of this Appenninica Family. The staff gives you great enthusiasm, creating chances to know people from all over the world with who you can make friends. It is truly a life experience. When you live it within the staff, your commitment is to fulfil the athletes’ needs, trying to be useful for them. When you live it as an athlete, you give it all on the competitive level, to finish the stage in the best possible way”, explained Debora Lana.

Debora Lana liked last year’s experience so much that she plans to repeat it this year, though an injury keeps on the mend her hopes to be at the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti on September 4th .

I am very interested in riding the reverse route. Last year I was a beginner and definitely made some mistakes, but I think it’s important to manage nutrition and integration and to get your body used to the effort, with adequate rest and well-defined rhythms. Last year, the day after Appenninica, I took part in an Mtb Marathon race and won in the distance I had signed up for: it was my eighth Appenninica stage!”

 

Riders bulletin n.4/2022

Riders bulletin n.4 📒July 28, 2022

 

Hey there,

 

This is the 4th rider bulletin. These bulletins will provide useful information, news, and mandatory action reminders. We are 38 days out.

 

Arriving and Parking

See you in Castelnovo ne’ Monti on Saturday, September the 3rd. Come to the accreditation desk between 14:00 and 17:00 in Piazza Gramsci here, near the City Hall. The race briefing is also there at 17:30. If you cannot do otherwise, you can also check in on Sunday morning between 9:00 and 10:00 (the stage starts at 13:00).

 

Parking options for long-term and camper vans:

– Cars and camper vans: parcheggio Piazzale Collodi

This is the long-term parking for those who are parking in Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the week.

 

Transfer – Stage 7 location (pre-booked service)

The transfer from location stage 7 is planned for 10:00 on Saturday. Parking and pick-up are by the Conca d’Oro Pool in Vidiciatico. Please park in the lower parking lot.

Please have your bikes assembled – not in the bike bag – and be ready to board at the above time.

 

Transfer – Airport (pre-booked service)

Transfer from Bologna Marconi Airport (BLQ) is planned for 13:00 on Saturday, September 3rd.

We have a small group of riders coming on Friday and we are arranging a transfer at 20:00. Reply to this email if you are interested.

If you have not sent your flight schedule with the flight number please write to info@appenninica-mtb.com. We must have this information (it is not enough that you have booked the transfer).

The meeting point is at the arrival terminal (ground floor). Exit from the sliding doors and gather to your right. You’ll see a staff member with an Appenninica sign.

If you arrive by train you can reach the airport via the monorail called Marconi Express.

 

Accommodation Pre-race

If you still need to find a hotel in Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the night of Saturday the 3rd, you can reply to this email.

 

Note: dorms are open after stage 1 on Sunday; Race week hotel packages do not include the pre-race night.

 

Basics and Updates:

  • The starting list is online! Click here.
  • The riders’ bulletins will be saved on the website so that you won’t have to dig them out of your inbox. Make sure you read them all.
  • If you have a companion or supporters with you, we offer specific services and packages (only companions who have a companion package can access certain areas).
  • On the website, you can find lots of information and we add more useful info periodically. The FAQ page is updated with the questions that we get asked the most.
  • Read the latest Appenninica news here.
  • Volunteers: do you know anyone who could volunteer? They can do so for the whole race or for a part of it.

Reminders and To Do:

  • Racing license. If you have missed the racing license email you can find it here. If you are buying the daily licenses please have 70 Euro in cash at registration and the medical declaration.
  • Rules. The race rules are published here. Your acceptance of those rules is implied with your registration.
  • Online registration. We’ll contact you via email If your registration is not complete or if we have questions.

Ciao from the Appenninica team!

 

It’s always a show in Fanano with “Pippo Yeah 2.0”

Appenninica MTB Stage Race is ready to return to Fanano, a host town always present since the first edition. On Tuesday, 6 September, Fanano will host the arrival of the High Mountain Queen Stage, while on Wednesday, 7 September, there will be the fun of “Pippo Yeah 2.0”, whose course has been set by Pierpaolo “Pippo” Marani

With Castelnovo ne’ Monti and Porretta TermeFanano (Modena) is the other stage venue present in every edition of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race so far. The resort in the Modena Apennines will host the mountain bike stage race again during the next edition, scheduled from 4 to 10 September 2022.

After the first three stages in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, the finish line of the High Mountain Queen Stage, the most anticipated stage in the program, will be in Fanano on Tuesday, 6 September. 106 km and 3650 meters of total elevation gain are expected to say a lot about the outcome of the stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines. After a first part in the Province of Reggio Emilia, through the Monte Cusna area and the climb of Monte Giovarello, the race will enter the Province of Modena, reaching the Passo Radici. From here, before the finish line in Piazza Corsini, the athletes will tackle the climb up to Pian Cavallaro, at the foot of Monte Cimone, and then head downhill towards Fanano. 

On Wednesday, 7 September, the “Pippo Yeah 2.0” will offer participants a fun-filled stage according to the style of its creator: famous trail builder Pier Paolo “Pippo” Marani. Along the 55 km and 2200 meters of elevation gain, there will be two challenging climbs to tackle. First, the athletes will ascend to the Colombino Pass (14 km and 900 meters of elevation gain), then tackle a beautiful single track to the hamlet of Ospitale. From there starts the second ascent under one of the most beautiful beech forests of the Apennines towards the Passo della Croce Arcana. In the finale, the route passes the scenic Scaffaiolo Lake and Patrignano Lake with an unmissable view over the valley to the finish in Fanano.

On Thursday, 8 September, Fanano will instead greet the Appenninica MTB Stage Race caravan with the start of the stage entitled “Gothic Line“, which will end in Porretta Terme (BO) crossing the Gothic Line, a theatre of the Second World War. 67 km and 2200 meters of elevation gain that start strong by repeating the climb towards Fellicarolo and then return to the valley of the Ospitale stream through a series of technical descents, before a continuous up and down along the Gothic Line.

“Fanano is proud to host Appenninica MTB Stage Race again this year. This is the only sporting event of an international scale that takes place in our area, and it allows us to give great visibility to the Monte Cimone area. Athletes arrive from Europe and beyond every year to discover our trails and territory. The Appenninica MTB Stage Race is a fundamental moment for promoting tourism in the area”, says the Mayor of Fanano, Stefano Muzzarelli.  

FANANO, BETWEEN MONTE CIMONE AND FELICE PEDRONI

Fanano is linked to the Monte Cimone ski resort, where it is possible to practice winter sports, trekking, mountain biking, and outdoor sports. Orange flagged by the Italian Touring Club since 2001, the town in the Province of Modena is also rich in history and culture with the Pieve di San Silvestro and the Church of San Giuseppe

However, Fanano’s name is also associated with gold prospector Felice Pedroni, who made his fortune in Alaska by finding the largest gold deposit in the area. There, he founded the town of Fairbanks, where most of the population was dedicated to gold panning.

Appenninica the litmus test for Diego Arias’ rainbow dreams

The Marathon MTB vice-World Champion chose Appenninica MTB Stage Race (4-10 September 2022) as final dress rehearsal ahead of the World Championships in Haderslev (Denmark). The Hubbers-Polimedical’s Colombian looks forward to his debut on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines

Pursuing goals and turning them from dreams into reality requires lots of commitment and effort. Team Hubbers-Polimedical’s Colombian Diego Arias has chosen the challenging Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2022 (4-10 September 2022) as his final test before chasing his dream of becoming Marathon World Champion.

After his second place at the 2021 World Championships in Capoliveri, the strong Colombian athlete has stepped into a new dimension, and has opted for the altimetric and technical difficulties of the Italian stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines as litmus test before another rainbow charge. Hig goal will be to refine his condition for the 2022 UCI Marathon MTB World Championships, scheduled eight days after the conclusion of Appenninica, on 18 September 2022 in Haderslev, Denmark.

I think facing the Appenninica MTB Stage Race with the right concentration and spirit can be a great preparation for the World ChampionshipsIf we do things right, I think we will arrive in Denmark in top shape. A race like Appenninica must be prepared very well, and you have to be able to manage your energy day after day. It will be crucial to arrive clear-headed at the end of the week”, says the Marathon MTB vice-World Champion.

 

Diego Arias has had a good season so far, with the highlights of the overall success at the Rally di Sardegna, the recent victory at the Assietta Legend and a remarkable second place at the Hero Südtirol Dolomites. There’s little doubt he will line up in Castelnovo ne’ Monti as one of the top favorites for the 2022 Appenninica overall crown.

My goal is to perform well and fight for the general classification, or at least a place on the podium. I looked at the stages, and it certainly looks like a very hard race. I haven’t red circled any day in particular, we will have to think day by day”, Arias explained.

It will be the first time for the Hubbers-Polimedical team as well at Appenninica, and they hope to hit the ground running.

We have decided to participate in the Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2022 because we believe it is a well organised event, and the perfect dress rehearsal for the Marathon MTB World Championships. We will be at the start with the aim of performing well and enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines”, said Hubbers-Polimedical Team Manager Gianfranco Bechis.

Riders bulletin n.3/2022

Riders bulletin n.3 📒July 15, 2022

 

Hey there,

 

It is mandatory – per race rules and to comply with the Italian Cycling Federation FCI – that all participants have a UCI-approved racing license (UCI logo and number).

 

Therefore, you should get or renew your national cycling federation UCI valid racing license.

You no longer need a letter from your national cycling federation authorizing you to race abroad.

 

The alternative is to buy an event racing license in Italy and it will cost 70 Euro (cash).

In this case, you’ll also need a medical declaration.

 

Often, a national racing license includes additional benefits such as insurance while racing and even training.

 

All that said, we recommend that you obtain a racing license with your national cycling federation (official UCI cycling member).

 

In any case, one or the other is mandatory and if you don’t comply you won’t be able to race.

 

Best regards from the Appenninica team.

Riders bulletin n.2/2022

Riders bulletin n.2 📒July 10, 2022

 

This is the second rider bulletin. These bulletins will provide useful information, news, and mandatory action reminders. We are 56 days out.

 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES:

 

July 15 – Last day to add extras to your registration. Go to Active.com and select and pay for any extras (massages, hotels, etc) by that date.

 

July 31 – Last day to make any changes to your registration form. For instance, add your UCI license number.

 

Basics and Updates:

  • On the website, you can find lots of information and we add more useful info periodically. The FAQ page is updated with the questions that we get asked the most.
  • What is included in your race entry is listed under What you get.
  • Extra packages are listed on the website and you’ll be able to book them from your events area in Active.com  that you can also access from your confirmation email. If you have a companion or supporters with you, we offer specific services and packages; click here.

 

Reminders and To Do:

  • Spread the word. Do you know of anyone that could join you? They can join the waiting list on the registration page of the website. Also, follow our social media channels and use #AppenninicaMTB and #Appenninicafamily on your posts. Thank you!
  • Rules. The race rules are published here (you can also download a pdf with the latest and approved race rules). Your acceptance of those rules is implied with your registration.
  • Online registration. We’ll contact you via email If your registration is not complete or if we have questions.
  • Have a look at past editions. You can access the past racecourses on Komoot and connect with us there.

 

Ciao from the Appenninica team!

Three days in Castelnovo ne’ Monti to open Appenninica 2022

In 2022, the town in the province of Reggio Emilia will host the start of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race (4-10 September) for the first time. The athletes will kick things off with three days in the shadow of the Bismantova Rock

The story of Appenninica MTB Stage Race continues in Castelnovo ne’ Monti. After staging the grand finale of the last two editions, the town in the Province of Reggio Emilia will hold the start of the 2022 race (September 4-10, 2022) in the shadow of the Bismantova Rock, the iconic mountain to which Dante’s Purgatory was inspired. 

Having been a stage venue of Appenninica every year since the first edition, Castelnovo ne’ Monti showed a neat commitment to the format of the mountain bike stage race on the trails of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines. This time, Castelnovo will welcome the Appenninica family for no less than three days of racing. 

The first two stages will run along the popular trails of the Reggio Emilia Apennines, highlighting an area rich in history and charm. The much-anticipated third stage, the High Mountain Queen Stage, will also start from Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

On Saturday, September 3rd, the central Piazza Gramsci will already come alive with the preliminary operations and the expo area with all the local associations involved in promoting outdoor activities.

Piazza Gramsci will be the venue of the start and finish of the first stage on Sunday, September 4th, when the athletes will ride through the territories of Matilda di Canossa’s reign, among castles and ancient routes. La Matildica, with its 52 km and 1850 meters of elevation gain, will warm the athletes’ legs around the iconic Bismantova Rock, touching the Castle of Carpineti. It will be continuous hilly ups and downs alongside Monte Fosola and the long bank of the Secchia river.

The following day, Monday, September 5th, another loop stage with start and finish in Castelnovo ne’ Monti will take place. The 62 kilometers and 2350 meters of elevation gain of The Rock stage will considerably raise the bar, through the ascent to the Monte Ventasso and the passage over the scenic Calamone Lake before reaching the crest of the Monte Pastorale. Again, a sequence of ups and downs will take the athletes from the highest point of the course back to the finish line. 

On Tuesday, September 6th, Castelnovo ne’ Monti will greet the Appenninica MTB Stage Race caravan before the athletes tackle the most challenging stage of the 2022 edition, the High Mountain Queen Stage (105 km and 3650 meters of elevation gain) with arrival in Fanano (Modena). On the route, Passo della Cisa, Monte Cusna, and Pian Cavallaro are just some of the difficulties that could completely overturn the general classification.  

We are delighted to host the Appenninica MTB Stage Race in Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the fourth straight year. We believe mountain biking has the Apennines as its territory of choice, with routes in untouched natural environments, through towns and villages rich in history, art, and culture, inhabited by welcoming people. Sports are a key vehicle to the promotion of these territories: we look forward to having the participants of Appenninica MTB Stage Race back with us in September,” said Enrico Bini, mayor of Castelnovo ne’ Monti. 

CASTELNOVO NE’ MONTI, BETWEEN HISTORY AND MAGIC

Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the surrounding territories are full of history and magic, starting with the Bismantova Rock, which, according to tradition, inspired Dante’s Purgatory during a stay of the poet in 1306, as also reported in the Canto IV of the Divine Comedy’s Purgatory. The Castelnovo area also boasts several fortresses and castles, once part of the reign of Matilda of Canossa, between 1000 and 1100 AD.

The medieval town’s historical center is definitely worth a visit. It was renovated in recent years, and it offers some truly characteristic views. Among these is the Palazzo Ducale, immersed in the green gardens of Bagnolo, built by the Este family as a symbol of their domination over the territory, and is now the venue of Castelnovo’s City Hall.

The Appenninici: from Hong Kong to Emilia-Romagna, falling in love at Appenninica

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race characters have plenty of stories to tell, either about life or sport. In 2021, Mark Leeper enjoyed a relaxing time in Castelnovo ne’ Monti at the end of a race week that he describes as “the best stage race I have ever done”

Cycling allows discovering places that remain stuck in the memory and heart. The purpose of Appenninica MTB Stage Race is to lift the veil on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, its landscapes and beauty, showcasing them to the many athletes who each year participate in the stage race, scheduled in 2022 from September 4th to 10th.

Among them, some couldn’t resist the allure of the Apennines, and once the efforts of Appenninica were over, they didn’t hesitate to stay a few more days to enjoy it in a more relaxed and relaxing way. This was the case of Mark Leeper, a participant of the 2021 Appenninica MTB Stage Race coming from Hong Kong, who has found his wellbeing oasis in Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

Last year, I took the time to stay over in Castelnovo ne’ Monti after the Appenninica MTB Stage race, enjoying excellent food and convenient coffee shops for remote work with my laptop. All the riders need recovery time after such a challenging event. There’s nothing better than spending some extra few days in the final destination town rather than immediately returning home. Riding around Emilia Romagna at Appenninica showed me many different sides of this beautiful Italian region and made it worth another visit in the future”, said Mark Leeper. 

The Appenninica route crosses typical places in the Apennines of Emilia-Romagna, among villages and high-altitude ridges. After participating in several mountain bike stage races worldwide, Mark Leeper, like other participants, has fallen in love with the perfect mix of untouched landscapes and technical routes.

At Appenninica, you find more technical trails than in the Alps or the Dolomites. Such a beautiful combination of speed, flow and technical challenge is hard to findThe tough, steep and rocky route made Appenninica MTB the best multi-day mountain bike race I have ever done. For me, it was better than the Cape Epic, Swiss Epic, TransRockies and the BC Bike Race”, explained Mark Leeper, a rider with plenty of experience all over the World. 

The Happy Trail MTB ASD organizers have always committed to the family and convivial atmosphere during the race week. Over the years, this has enabled friendships and bonds to be forged among competitors, organizers, and insiders, creating a true Appenninica Family. In his experience in the Italian stage race, Mark Leeper also perceived this atmosphere.

The group of Appenninica MTB Stage Race starters is smaller in numbers, but the organizational team is truly excellent. These two aspects contribute to a very special atmosphere, enhanced by efficient logistics, excellent refreshments, and genuine hospitality. Every day there are many opportunities to meet up with other athletes in the race, especially over dinner. And I can’t wait to come back”, Mark Leeper commented.

Riders bulletin n.1/2022

Riders bulletin n.1 📒July 1, 2022

 

Congratulations for registering for the fourth edition of Appenninica MTB Stage Race from September 4th to September 10th. We are 65 days out.

 

This is the first rider bulletin. These bulletins will provide useful information, news, and mandatory action reminders.

 

 

Basics and Updates:

  • On the website, you can find lots of information and we add more useful info periodically. The FAQ page is updated with the questions that we get asked the most.
  • What is included in your race entry is listed under What you get.
  • Extra packages are listed on the website and you’ll be able to book them from your events area in Active.com  that you can also access from your confirmation email. If you have a companion or supporters with you, we offer specific services and packages; click here.

 

Reminders and To Do:

  • Spread the word. Do you know of anyone that could join you? They can join the waiting list on the registration page of the website. Also, follow our social media channels and use #AppenninicaMTB and #Appenninicafamily on your posts. Thank you!
  • Rules. The race rules are published here (you can also download a pdf with the latest and approved race rules). Your acceptance of those rules is implied with your registration.
  • Online registration. We’ll contact you via email If your registration is not complete or if we have questions.
  • Have a look at past editions. You can access the past racecourses on Komoot and connect with us there.

 

Ciao from the Appenninica team!