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.
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The Italian veteran will be ambassador of title sponsor Parmigiano Reggiano in the second edition of the MTB stage race. “Four years ago I beat cancer, now I am living cycling from a different perspective: Appenninica is a new and exciting experience”
This is why “IronTibi” decided to be at the start of the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, the MTB stage race bringing Mountain Bike racing in the wildest and unexplored areas of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, from July 19th to 25th, 2020. And Andrea will do it with the ambition of winning it.
The crave for a new challenge is the greatest boost for an athlete towards greatness. For certain athletes, though, this desire simply reaches higher standards. That’s the case of Andrea Tiberi: the 34-year-old, a long-time top rider of the Italian Cross-Country MTB movement, Italian national champion in 2015, has recently announced that 2020 will be his final season as a professional. For someone like him, who battled and defeated tough opponents throughout his career, in the race and beyond, this only means another can’t-miss opportunity to go for unprecedented challenges, always at full throttle.
“Four year ago,” recalls Tiberi, a member of Team SantaCruz-FSA, “I was preparing for my first Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, when I was diagnosed a thyroid cancer. I underwent surgery, and from there, I started a race against the time to be ready for Brazil: on August 21st I took the start and finished 19th. Nevertheless, the way this experience changed me – both as a rider and as a man – was the real achievement.”
Four years later, Tiberi’s sights are set on new goals, not necessarily marked with a banner. Last year in September, his desire to do an MTB trip, the Tour of Mount Blanc and return, became the “Dreamlines” project. Five-hundreds kilometers and 20.000 mt elevation gain, for the pure sake of exploring, discovering and pedaling.
The same kind of drive now leads him to take on the Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race challenge, one of the toughest stage races in Europe with over 450 km and 16.000 mt elevation gainover seven stages. Andrea won’t be alone in this feat, as he will have Parmigiano Reggiano, the event’s title sponsor, on his side. In Tiberi, Parmigiano Reggiano found the perfect ambassador to lead the public to the discovery of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, where the World-famous Italian cheese comes to life.
“You can’t help falling in love with a challenge like “Appenninica”, in it I see the same spirit of my “Dreamlines”,” Tiberi told. “The Apennines are a spectacle of nature, beauty and opportunity (in cycling and beyond), waiting to be discovered, and I think this is what makes the event so special: keeping and enhancing the wild nature and authenticity of these places, while creating a top-level competitive event.”
It’s another Olympic year, but Tiberi’s goal will not be the five-ring race, but rather testing himself in unprecedented ways. “I wish to seize cycling in full, like I always have, but with a greater sake for discovery and adventure, and maybe with more opportunities to share something. At Appenninica, I will meet riders from everywhere in the World, and hopefully I can give some valuable advice, in the racing action and beyond, and even on nutrition. In that sense, having Parmigiano Reggiano on my side is the best insurance.”
APPENNINICA MTB “PARMIGIANO REGGIANO” STAGE RACE
Appenninica MTB “Parmigiano Reggiano” Stage Race is an MTB stage race taking place in Italy, on the Apennines mountain range, between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The second edition takes place from July 19th to 25th, 2020. Riders can participate either in two-athlete teams (men, women, mixed) or as individuals (men and women).
With over 450 km of distance and 16.000 meters of elevation gain, Appenninica places itself among the toughest MTB stage races in the World and is the only Italian event to belong in the same “family” of events like Bike Transalp (Eastern Alps), TransRockies (Canada) and Cape Epic (South Africa).
The race is run over seven stages, including an opening and a “Queen Stage”, all of those immersed in the nature of the Emilian Apennine, full of still-unexplored opportunities for MTB and outdoor activities. That’s what makes “Appenninica” a legitimate trip “into the wild”, all to be discovered: a new frontier for international mountain bike.
The warm welcoming of the people from Emilia-Romagna is another plus of “Appenninica”s atmosphere: from climbs to smiles, to cuisine, the Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano stage experience is designed to leave a mark.