Talented women’s field promises top-class race at Appenninica

From Sunday, September 27th to Saturday, October 3rd, Esther Süss, Lorenza Menapace, Regina Marunde, Sarah Reiners and Gaia Ravaioli will enlight a fun and uncertain women’s competition in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines

by Absa Cape Epic

For those who love Emilia-Romagna and cycling, the next two weeks are sure to give strong emotions. In the coming weekend in Imola, road cycling pros will fight for the world titles. At the same time, just an hour and a half away, in Porretta Terme (Bologna), the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race will start, taking place from September 27th to October 3rd.

The organizers’ choice to confirm the event, moving it from Summer to the Autumn due to the epidemiological emergency, has proved successful. Many international riders opting in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines to test themselves in the race and enjoy the typical Italian atmosphere.

If in the men’s field, top riders like Tiago Ferreira, Milton Ramos, Lukas Kaufmann, Hans Becking and more have accepted the challenge. On the Women’s side, the competition promises to be exciting and uncertain as ever, with big names of the international off-road scene expected in the Apennines.

Leading the field is Esther Süss, XCM World Champion in 2010 in Sankt Wendel, as well as twice European Champion, in 2008 in Sankt Wendel and 2010 in Montebelluna. Standing out in her palmares are also two Cape Epic overall wins: “I’m really curious to find out what Appenninica holds for me – the Swiss athlete explains -. Looking at the stages’ profiles, it seems that it will be a really hard race, and I usually like it that way. Honestly, I don’t know my opponents very well, but I think the overall level will be high and the race fun. I hope for good weather throughout the week, so to conclude this short and special season in the best way”.

Tenacious Lorenza Menapace won’t certainly stand by after winning the first edition in pair with French Danièle Troesch, and be willing to reclaim the title in the individual race: “In this weird season, Appenninica is my debut in a stage race – said the Italian -. I do not know what to expect, so far I have “just” concluded an Everesting at a high pace, the Oztaler Marathon and the Ortler Marathon, but I’ve never raced multiple days this year. It is like leaping in the dark, but I hope to have fun and finish another stage race, without too much pressure”.

Appenninica is also a new challenge for former German international and Olympian Regina Marunde, who debuted in 1991 in the World Championship right on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in “Il Ciocco”, where the XCO Italian Championships were held just a few days ago: “Last year in the Czech Republic, some French athletes told me that if I was looking for a beautiful MTB race with fun trails, I should have come to Appenninica – Marunde says -. That’s why I can’t wait for it to start, especially in such a particular year. Of course, you always try to be competitive, but the thing I like most is being able to share the experience with people who have my same passion”.

Rounding out the lot of favorites, 2016 Bike Transalp winner Sarah Reiners still wears the German national team jersey in XCM races, and Italian climber Gaia Ravaioli, 2017 and 2019 Endurance World Champion, also looks to factor in this enticing clash of queens at Appenninica.