The Spaniard-Honduran of the Rockrider Decathlon Team, six-time winner of the IronBike, is ready to face the Emilian Apennines the next autumn: “I want to enjoy the experience, but also focus on the general classification”
Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race starting list keeps filling up with big names. The latest famed contender to join the ranks of the MTB stage race scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, 2020 on the Emilian Apennines, in Italy, is Internationally renowned stage-race specialist Milton Ramos, six-time winner of the established and very challenging IronBike stage race, in the Western Alps.
Born in 1979 and grown up in Honduras, Ramos proved his MTB talent after moving to Spain in 1999, when he joined his mother who had emigrated to Europe a few years earlier in Zaragoza. After a short period in road cycling, he committed full-time to his passion for fat wheels and off-road tracks, soon becoming one of the most popular bikers in Spain. He is nicknamed “Zorro of the Desert”, because of his good feeling with the Titan Desert in Morocco, where he won three stages with three second places in the overall standings.
In Appenninica he will face a new challenge, as the Apennines are an unexplored terrain for him. On the starting line of Porretta Terme (Bologna) he will wear the Rockrider Decathlon Team jersey, together with the French Joseph de Poortere and competing both in the individual category.
“My teammate Joseph told me about Appenninica and when I read about it I was impressed by the routes and the overall offer of the race – Milton, who also won races like the Mediterranean Extreme, Gigante de Piedra and the Quebrantahuesos cxm in his career, explains -. I also received positive feedbacks from other friends of mine who know the race and I am very curious to discover the Apennines. I’ve never had the chance to ride there before, so it will be a very first time for me”.
The Honduran living in Aragon comes from a difficult 2019, punctuated by several physical problems that have significantly limited his bike activity, and even this 2020, with many races cancelled due to the epidemic emergency, had not started in the best way. Appenninica, postponed from summer to autumn, will therefore be one of the major goals of the season for Ramos, who is surely going to entertain the fans during the seven days along the Emilian provinces.
The 16.000 meters of elevation gain seems to fit perfectly to Milton’s skills: “Hard and technical races like Appenninica are the ones I prefer and in which I have always managed to give the best of me, so I think I can have fun. The first goal for me is to enjoy the ride and appreciate what is around me, but I am also competitive by nature and I will surely focus on the overall classification. I will then try to finish as high as possible”.
The next autumn Milton is going to be a tough rival for everyone. Registrations for Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race are open on the https://www.appenninica-mtb.com/en/register/ website till August 31st (or max number).
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.
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 4th – Beppe 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.
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.
Melanie – Mel – tells us about her passions and how they come together. We loved to find out about her artistic side and therefore we asked her about her creations and racing in the Women category with Sophie Hemming (UK).
I am fairly new to throwing on a wheel having tried it for the first time a year ago. It is a fantastic process; I like both the processes of throwing a form and then turning the form to shape it. Once I got the hang of making a few small cylinders, I started making some pots with Puffins on for an exhibition based on the coast of West Wales. Puffins are a small bird native to the area, quite an interesting little sea bird.
I then made a few cups as Christmas presents painted to suit the individuals and this developed into making some cups as prizes at a local beach race where I set up a stand to sell a few “bike mugs”. Every cup I make is unique. The shape and size of the cup, the handle, the image to place on them and how the image is applied are all elements I am still exploring. Some of the images are painted on, others are in the techniques of Scraffito and inlay. I would like to develop the cups into pairs or small groups of four but still keep their unique character. I have no interest in mass production.
It just seemed obvious, they are great, practical, take you to fantastic places and make you feel good. I would like to expand on the bike designs and include other cycling related images – places I go and things I see – often on a bike. I’ve also created some bike themed bowls that I will develop further.
For a few years mountain biking has taken over my creative time. Mountain biking is a fantastic sport but racing takes a lot of energy and focus. Last year I decided to make time to explore new skills such as throwing on the wheel, stone carving and bronze casting. Throwing grabbed me much more than I was expecting, I liked the immediacy, the challenge, the process– it takes a lot of focus so can be very relaxing. I like the fact it can be developed in so many ways and there is so much to explore. It has got me excited about making again. I want to continue combining painting and drawing on my ceramics and to develop my throwing skills.
This year I am excited to see where the ceramics goes but also to have a couple of races to aim for. It’s great to have Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano as a target. Part of the excitement for me is the opportunity to ride and race in new parts of the World and to take part in new events. I love riding in Italy and the Appenninica takes places in a part of Italy I have not raced before so I’m looking forward to experiencing what the area has to offer. It’s going to be an epic week and I’m looking forward to racing with Sophie for the first time as a team. We have ridden some pretty awesome trails together in Wales, Scotland, and Switzerland and soon we’ll be able to include Italy in this list. Hopefully, I can strike the right balance between throwing on one wheel and riding on two!
We met when racing XC three years ago. We always have close battles, climbing and descending at similar speeds which will work well for stage racing as a team. We have ridden some pretty awesome trails together and have been talking about racing a stage race together for a couple of years now, but we have waited for the right time and race to appear. There doesn’t appear to be many stage races which are 8 days long and technical which is why Appenninica grabbed our attention.
I have been mountain biking for many years, first attracted to stage racing due to the places it took me and the challenge to aim for before focusing on XC for a few years.
Sophie is relatively new to mountain biking in comparison, but with a background playing Rugby for England she has adapted to the sport very quickly. Whilst I have competed in a Mountain biking World cup Sophie has competed in, and won, a different World Cup playing Rugby for England.
Sophie is not only a competitive athlete she is also a mother to Sam and has a demanding job as a vet, which she did alongside training and representing England at Rugby before moving onto her newer passion of mountain biking. My day job is as an Art teacher in a prison and I’m also developing my own range of ceramic pieces with a cycling theme.