Race course

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race takes place over 8* consecutive days along the ridge of the Apennine Mountains from North-West to South-East.

The route follows, where possible, the MTB trail of the Alta Via dei Parchi straddling the watershed with Tuscany.

*Appenninica4 takes place from Porretta Terme to Bagno di Romagna (4 stages).

It includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, Forlì / Cesena, as well as all the National and Regional Parks along the Alta via.

The 300 riders will cover about 550km for a total elevation gain of approximately 20,000m. Only after crossing the finish line of the last kilometer in Bagno di Romagna can the participants wear the coveted finisher t-shirt of the First Edition.

The Race Villages, present at each stage, are set up near urban centers scattered along the route throughout the Apennines or adapted by means of diversion of the route for logistical need of the race and visibility of the territory.

At the moment, the following stage points are confirmed:

  • BERCETO – PR
  • CASTELNUOVO MONTI – RE
  • PORRETTA TERME – BO
  • FANANO – MO
  • CASTEL DEL RIO – BO
  • BAGNO DI ROMAGNA – FC

The terrain is very varied and, with the exception of the trails created in the area of the Cimone Bike Park, is all natural trails, forest roads and, for some short connective sections secondary paved roads.

As indicated by the elevation gain, the course has steep sections both uphill and downhill but almost all of them rideable by trained athletes with good skills.

The queen stage of over 100km is a time trial where you will need to pace your effort well. To know more about the stage, you will have to wait for the official communication of the route. However, it will be a course on par with the most famous ultra-endurance races in the world such as Cape Epic and TransAlp.

From a naturalistic point of view, the route crosses parks and forests surrounded by mountain lakes. The beech and chestnut forests – some of them centuries old – whose leaves we wanted as part of the event’s graphics will be inevitable. A tribute but also part of a commitment to create an event respectful of the environment that hosts it.

The average altitude is between 800m and 1,400m with peaks at 1,700m. The first 3 stages are at higher attitude while the second part of the route sees lower altitudes and less sparse vegetation.

The route is ancient and has seen the Middle Ages, welcomed pilgrims, fairies and gnomes, and the Partisan Resistance has used them during the Second World War.

Basically, we planned a route that is a postcard for the European mountain ranges best suited to outdoor activities: the Apennines. We then added some special ingredients that you only find here: extraordinary cuisine and warmth of the people without forgetting the atmosphere of conviviality for which Emilia Romagna is known and proud.

Appenninica Low Impact

Particular attention will be given to mitigate to the maximum the environmental impact of our passage in the land. A specific protocol “Appenninica Low Impact” will be drawn up with concrete actions before, during and after the race. In addition to referring to the existing rules of the trail and the code of behavior IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association), the organizers of the Appenninica are part of a table of representatives of the Parks in order to experience the land with the least possible impact. The CAI regional section of Emilia Romagna will be invited to be part of the working group that will draft the protocol “Appenninica Low Impact”. In 2014, the organizers of the Appenninica along with ASD Happy Trail MTB have opened the Italian branch of IMBA. Since them IMBA Italy has trained hundreds of people on the importance of sustainable trails, techniques of creating and maintaining trails to limit erosion, respecting its natural characteristics and mitigate conflicts with all users. The protocol will be based on scientific studies collected by IMBA on the impact of mountain biking on trails.