The Portuguese rider of the DMT Racing Team made the difference in the final descent, taking his second Appenninica stage victory in Castelnovo ne’ Monti. Lorenzo Samparisi was runner-up, followed by GC leader Hans Becking. Esther Süss makes five out of five among women
Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Ferreira heading towards the Bismantova Rock
DMT Racing Team continues to rule at Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race. On Thursday, October 1st, in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, with the stunning Bismantova Rock in the background, the athletes of team manager Andrea Marconi won the fourth stage in five days at the Italian stage race. This time, however, they didn’t finish together. Tiago Ferreira managed to make the difference in the final descent that brought the riders to the base of the Rock, distancing everyone, even his teammate and GC leader Hans Becking. Second place for Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) at 2’57”, narrowly guarded by the Dutchman, third at 3’06”.
After the Queen Stage efforts, the riders opted for a steadier approach to the stage, 50-km-long with 1800 meters of elevation gain. That resulted in regular pace in the early part, on fast forest roads and some uphill trails towards Montemiscoso and the Lake Calamone. Just before approaching the stretch around the Bismantova Rock, Ferreira decided to force the pace and try an all-in for the stage victory. Samparisi’s attempts to keep up with him were fruitless, so the Portuguese came in Piazza Peretti in Castelnovo ne’ Monti with his arms raised, celebrating his second victory in this Appenninica’s edition.
“The first part of the stage was very calm since we had no reason to push hard – Ferreira explained. – In the second, however, there were many fast up and down, so I tried to go for the stage. And I made it!”. On the other hand, Becking didn’t take any risk: “When Tiago attacked, I let Samparisi try to chase him. I didn’t want to push too hard. Even today, we were surrounded by beautiful landscapes, but after five days of competition on the Emilian Apennines, I understand this must be usual around here”.
Italian Samparisi, once again the most tenacious opponent of the DMT Racing Team’s riders, had to settle for the place of honor: “Unfortunately I could not follow Tiago, but I will try again in the next two stages that seem to suit my characteristics. After Fanano’s victory, I would like to repeat”.
In the overall standings, Ferreira shortened the distance to his teammate Becking and is now 4’38” behind, while Samparisi is getting closer to the final third place, having gained more time on Milton Ramos (Rockrider Decathlon).
Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Ferreira celebrating in Castelnovo ne’ Monti
ESTHER SÜSS HIGH-FIVE!
Esther Süss got the fifth victory in as many stages among women, not leaving even a shred of hope to her opponents. At this point, the en-plein of successes in this Appenninica’s edition is no longer utopia for the former World Champion. At 17’29” from the winner, Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Data) was on the second step of the podium for the fifth time as well.
“It was a fun stage, with many ‘up and downs’, and beautiful landscapes – the Swiss explained -. I like to go uphill rather than downhill, but I needed a day like today, after yesterday’s efforts. Winning all the stages? I already did it at the Transalp, the 4 Islands, and the Andalucia Bike Race, so why not?”.
ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, FROM CASTELNOVO TO COLLECCHIO (94 KM)
On Friday, October 2nd, long distances will be back in Appenninica. Collecchio and the Giarola Court will host the sixth stage’s finish, 94 km from the start in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) after the athletes have left the Apennine massif for the first time.
The protagonist of the central part of the stage will be the town of Calestano, famous for its technical and fun trails. The Taro river valley will bring the riders to the final part of the stage, all the way to the Giarola Court, Appenninica’s headquarter for the last two days.
Ph. The Outdoor Lab. The leading group during the first part of the race
The KTM Alchemist Dama rider won stage 3 (Fanano-Fanano), seeing off leader Hans Becking in a sprint. Süss is unbeatable among women. Tomorrow the Queen Stage (110 km!)
On the third day of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race Italy has celebrated its first success. On Tuesday, September 29th, in the third stage, starting and finishing in Fanano (Modena), over 50 km and 2500 meters of elevation gain, charted with the unmistakable trait of famous trail builder Pippo Marani.
Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) saw his determination rewarded with a victory on the Modena Apennines, conducting an aggressive race since the first ascent towards Passo Colombino. In his wake on the way up, the iron duo of DTM Racing Team formed by Hans Becking and Tiago Ferreira, whose strenght and consistency was on display once again.
Samparisi, Becking and Ferreira proceeded together on the ridges between Croce Arcana, Lago Scaffaiolo and Passo del Lupo, whose beauty has been enhanced by a sky never so clear in this edition of Appenninica.
The fun and electrifying final descent made the difference on the natural singletrack to Fanano, in which the hand of Pippo Marani – the creator of Val di Sole’s “Black Snake” – could certainly be seen. Samparisi attacked again with courage, followed by Becking, while Ferreira chose not to take risks ahead of the Queen Stage on Wednesday. Samparisi had time to raise his arms in the final sprint, while Becking consolidated his blue leader’s jersey.
“I attacked from the start, we were three on the climb, but I knew the final technical descent could have changed everything”, says Samparisi. “I didn’t hold back, I took some risks, and that eventually paid off. Tomorrow, however, it will be a different story: you have to manage the effort, and then unleash everything in the final hour.”
Even with the competition in full, however, the three protagonists of the day agreed on one thing: “When we arrived on the ridge, Becking, Ferreira and I looked at each other and said– such a shame we don’t have a phone to take a pic! – We didn’t expect something like this before the start”.
Third place for Milton Ramos, looking more consistent and smiling day after day, at 6’09”, while Ferreira reached the finish line at 6’44”.
In the overall standings, before the Queen Stage, Becking has 7’44” on Tiago Ferreira, 15’41” on Lorenzo Samparisi and 19’24” on Milton Ramos. “Today we didn’t want to risk too much,” says Becking, “Samparisi pushed hard, especially on the downhill, while Tiago preferred to use some extra caution ahead of tomorrow. The Queen Stage will be decisive, anything can happen, and victory is not granted. The one thing that’s for sure is the beauty of the sceneries we get to see every day.”
ESTHER SÜSS IS UNTOUCHABLE
Esther Süss (RC Gränichen) continues to command the women’s race. The former World Champion took the third success in a row: an unbreakable supremacy. The second position was once again of Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Dama), 23’22” behind.
“I’m focused on my own race: the only thing that can distract me are the scenarios that open up around us as we ride on a great course. Today the descent was so much fun; I enjoyed it all in view of the difficult stage of tomorrow, where it will be important to be on the top of my game.”
ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH, THE FEARED QUEEN STAGE: FANANO – CASTELNOVO NE’ MONTI (110 km)
It is the stage circled in red on the calendar of all athletes. Two numbers are enough to tell why: 110 km and 4,200 meters of elevation gain. Tomorrow it’s Queen Stage time. It is the stage that leads from the harshest to the hilliest part of the Apennines in a succession of singletrails, from the province of Modena to Reggio Emilia.
After the descent from Cimone, a series of up and down will begin: Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello, all on various terrain, from forest roads to trails with roots of undergrowth.
The Passo della Cisa is the last significant climb of the day, leading the athletes in the medieval town of Sologno and opening the first view of the Bismantova Rock. From the village, the last descent and the crossing of the river Secchia will finally mark the desired arrival in Castelnovo ne’ Monti.
Lorenzo Samparisi and Gaia Ravaioli are set to compete for the overall crown in the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race (September 27th – October 3rd)
With now less than 50 days to go to the start in Porretta Terme, new remarkable names keep joining the Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race‘s starting list. The KTM Alchemist Dama Selle SMP were the latest team in time to have made official their participation in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd.
Based in Tirano (Sondrio), the team boasts a significant international experience and a prestigious palmares. Their activity is split between the disciplines of MTB and Cyclocross, and the backbone of the team is made by the Samparisi: Nicolas and Lorenzo are the top riders, while Simone – a former rider himself – is the General Manager. Lorenzo Samparisi and Gaia Ravaioli, who just won the Pedalonga in Comelico Superiore (Belluno), will come to Appenninica with the intention of competing for the final victory.
“We wished to come to Appenninica already last year, but we couldn’t due to calendar circumstances – explained KTM Dama Selle SMP General ManagerSimone Samparisi, who will join the two riders in the race together with the team physio. “The race fascinates us; we like the format and we were looking for a hard course just like this. We will come to Appenninica with many racing days in the legs, including the Swiss Epic, so we expect to be in a very solid condition. As with every race, we will line up at the start to win, even if we know that the competition will be tough”.
Lorenzo Samparisi, born in 1993, won the Gran Fondo Val di Noto 2019 and achieved several prestigious placements around Europe. At Appenninica he will be one of the main Italian hopes to clash against the likes of favorites Lukas Kaufmann and Milton Ramos.
Gaia Ravaioli graduated Endurance World Champion (24H solo) in 2017 and 2019, has worn the Italian Marathon National team’s jersey, and won the World Cup race in Spilimbergo in 2019. The 16-thousand-metre of total elevation gain seem to fit perfectly the 1988-born athlete from Genoa, who thrives when the mileage gets higher. The challenge in the women’s field is set to be exciting, with many legitimate contenders joining the ranks in Porretta Terme (Bologna).
“Lorenzo was born in Rimini and knows the Emilian Apennines’ area well – Simone Samparisi continued -. We hope this will prove to be an advantage on the way to a solid result. For Gaia it will be a first time, but she has what it takes to copes with the threats of the Apennines’ trails.”