Germans Fritzsch and Diesner overall winners of Appenninica 2021

In the final stage, Felix Fritzsch gained more terrain over Bart Classens, on his way to the overall victory. Elia Taverna won the final stage and earned the third step of the podium. Diesner finalized a dominating display to be crowned queen of Appenninica 2021

Credits: Francesco Narcisi / The Outdoor Lab

The test of the Bismantova Rock gave Felix Fritzsch the Men’s crown of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2021. Winner of the opening stage in Porretta Terme, the German completed the stage race on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines in first position, showing consistency and tactical acumen to beat Bart Classens in the GC by 8:09, responding to the Dutchman’s comeback after the High Mountain Queen Stage. 

Fritzsch was not among the top favorites before the race, yet on Saturday, September 18th, 2021, on the finish line in Piazza Peretti in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, the German enriched his palmares, adding the Appenninica overall to the  2018 Rally di Romagna. The 32-year-old of the RSG 52 Stolberg team completed the seven stages in 20:49:55, ahead of Dutch Bart Classens (second) and Elia Taverna, third at 37:22.

I’m really happy for the final victory. The race was very hard and I’m tired but we rode in wonderful landscapes and the Apennines are stunning. I’m proud to have completed the race, that was my goal at the start, but it was a fantastic experience. Now that I won the leader jersey, I have to come back next year and defend it”, said Felix Fritzsch on the finish line. 

RANKING STAGE 7FINAL RANKING

Credits: Juan J. Pestaña / The Outdoor Lab

After riding all week in the front positions, Elia Taverna finally achieved a stage victory on the final day, 50 km and 1600 metres of elevation gain. The Italian rider managed to win the final stage in 2:27:55, setting the pace with Fritzsch and Classens in the first part of race, until a flat tire forced the Dutchman out of the game. At the finish, Fritzsch gave Elia Taverna the green light to the stage win. 

“Finally, I have got a stage victory. I’m happy of how I have been racing this week and I’m fully satisfied about my participation. I didn’t think I’d be such at the sharp end, and to win a stage, so it’s all very positive”, said Elia Taverna. 

Credits: Juan J. Pestaña / The Outdoor Lab

NAIMA DIESNER’S CONQUERS APPENNINICA

An absolute protagonist of this edition, Naima Diesner’s attitude conquered the entire caravan of Appenninica. The German got another win at the shade of the Bismantova Rock in 2:51:57, ahead of Virginia Cancellieri by 7:21 and Evelyn Sulzer by 8:13. After the expected battles in the first stages, Diesner dominated the race starting from the High Mountain Queen Stage and winning four out of seven stages. In the overall standings, the Tuspo Weemde team rider finished Appenninica in 26:24:58, with an advantage of 59:37 on Virginia Cancellieri and 1:26:09 on Evelyn Sulzer. 

“It was a fantastic experience. At Appenninica MTB Stage Race I found a wonderful atmosphere, the people welcomed me in an extraordinary way. This victory is also for those who couldn’t race it till the end due to some crashes or mechanical problems. I really enjoyed the race and I’d love to be back next year”, explained Naima Diesner. 

Credits: Francesco Narcisi / The Outdoor Lab

APPENNINICA EYES FURTHER GROWTH IN 2022

At the end of the 2021 edition, the Appenninica MTB Stage Race organizers drew a positive wrap-up of the experience, looking forward to 2022 with new drive and confidence. The 106 athletes coming from 16 different Countries expressed positive comments towards the Emilia-Romagna Apennines stage race, where they fell in love with the atmosphere through the whole week. 

The feedback from the riders confirms that Appenninica belongs among the main mountain bike stage races in Europe. Many athletes felt at home while discovering unexpected landscapes among the Emilia-Romagna Apennines. The competition was tough, showing that the route gave nothing for granted and needed to be prepared in the best possible way. We lived an intense week full of emotions, thanks to the beautiful landscapes and the passion of the athletes. We are already looking forward to 2022 with the aim of growing further”, said the Appenninica organizers, Beppe Salerno and Milena Bettocchi

The final awarding ceremony in Piazza Peretti was attended by the Antonella Incerti, member of the Italian Parliament’s Agriculture Commission and representative of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Public Works Councillor of Castelnovo ne’ Monti Giorgio Severi, and on behalf of the Coop Alleanza 3.0 Directors Board, Chiara Saccani. “I want to express a big thank you to the OC and to all athletes – said Antonella Incerti -. We are investing on the Apennines and on these areas that have a great potential. Appenninica is an important chance to showcase the territory in all his features, from landscapes to hospitality and cuisine”.

Credits: Alyona Blagikh / The Outdoor Lab

Credits: Alyona Blagikh / The Outdoor Lab

 

 

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”.

Milton Ramos targets Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race

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).

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.