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.