More than trails and dirt roads in the MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines (September 27th-October 3rd), but also tasty local specialties to make the riders’ experience even more special
Ph. E. Melchiorri
Limiting Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race only to the competitive aspect would be overly reductive. FromSeptember 27th to October 3rd, the riders will find much more than a MTB stage race: the Appenninica family will help them into the Emilian Apennines’ culture and traditions.
The culinary tradition of the area, and of Italy as a whole, is undoubtedly one big motivation for those choosing the Appenninica adventure. Emilia-Romagna is a region of excellence in terms of cuisine, and the Appenninica organizers want to show it during the race, supported by title sponsor Parmigiano Reggiano and fellow partners Venturini Baldini, I Love Piadina, Parmonie, water supplied by Gruppo SEM and Coop Alleanza 3.0.
At Appenninica, the athletes will have to face more than 450 km and 16 thousand meters of total elevation gain, requiring a great deal of energy to be reintegrated with genuine and traditional food from the areas involved. Each stage venue will present its own specialty to make every stage unique from a gastronomic perspective.
Porretta Terme (Bologna) will present its pappardelle with meat sauce, Fanano (Modena) the tigelle combined with cold cuts, cheese and stracchino, Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) will treat the riders with the famous “rice bomb” and Collecchio (PR) with the “torta fritta” and cold cuts. Everything will be accompanied by many other local delicacies.
The highlight will then be the grand finale dinner offered by title sponsor Parmigiano Reggiano, in which riders can plunge into the tasting of the excellences of local food and wine. The perfect finishing act of the challenging but gratifying MTB experience in the Emilian Apennines.
“The gastronomic discovery is one of the reasons why we think of Appenninica as an experience, more than just a race – co-organizer Milena Bettocchi explained – Emilia is an internationally-famous area of gastronomic excellence, and living Appenninica without diving in this reality would be like giving up to a huge piece of its cultural heritage.”
“An athlete can finish the Giro d’Italia in Milan without eating the famous cutlet, but he cannot finish Appenninica without discovering the taste of the erbazzone, the fragrance of the torta fritta and the scent of the real mountain Parmigiano Reggiano. It is part of what we are. And it is also for this reason that appetite grows with climbing at Appenninica”, Bettocchi added.
The main partner of Appenninica MTB Stage Races has allocated one million euros to support the hospitals’ work and sustain its dairies
Ph. E. Melchiorri
The love for your own territory can be expressed in many ways and Parmigiano Reggiano, title sponsor of Appenninica MTB Stage Race, scheduled from July 19th to 25th, chose to act.
The consortium took the field to support Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua‘s hospitals during this period of critical health emergency.
The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium’s Board of Direction has decided the allocation of one million euros for emergency supplies, destined in particular to purchase technical equipment such as ambulances and respirators.
In addition, a supply of cheese will be donated to the hospital for the nutrition of its operators, to help relieve the efforts of doctors and nurses fighting day and night against Covid-19 since several weeks.
In this very tough juncture also from an economic point of view, the consortium chose to adopt an internal solidarity policy for its 330 dairies with PDO productions. A financial contribution will be paid to the dairies that are currently unable to process milk into cheese, due to quarantine or Covid-19 related provisions, and are therefore forced to sell it at a low price as drinking milk.
Parmigiano Reggiano follows a strict production discipline that counts a limited production area, including the mountain and pre-mountain communities of the Apennines in the provinces of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma, right where Appenninica MTB Stage Race will take place.
In an overall challenging moment for Italy as a whole, Emilia-Romagna has certainly been affected intensely. The Appenninica organizing team is grateful to Parmigiano Reggiano for the important contribution to the health services and companies in the area, and proud of partnering with a company so strongly bound to the territory we love so fondly.
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.
105 km and over 4,200 meters of elevation gain: plenty of fun and suffering in the fourth stage of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, from Fanano to Castelnovo ne’ Monti. It will be one of the hardest stages of the whole 2020 MTB season
There will be plenty to discover and plenty to conquer through the 458 km of the 2020 edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, facing continuous gradients up and down, scattered all over the seven stages from July 19th to 25th, dealing with dirt roads, stones and single trails.
However, there is a date circled in red by all the Appenninica’s braves: Wednesday, July 22nd, the day of stage 4, the Queen stage of this edition. 105 km from Fanano (Modena) to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) with over 4200 meters of elevation gain. The elevation gain to kilometres ratio makes the Queen Stage of Appenninica one of the hardest of all the stage races in 2020: a reason of extra pride for those who will be able to complete it.
“The interpretation of this stage won’t be easy – Course Director Luca Bortolotti explained -. After the start in Fanano, we will head towards the Mount Cimone, a climb mainly in tarmac of almost 18 kilometers with fairly constant gradient. The last part will be on a forest road and we will move on a ridge that will precede the first long descent towards Pievepelago, all on trail, and a final part on an old mule track, with many curves”.
“It is important to recover in this section as in Pievepelago a new ascent begins along the Rio Perticara that leads to the Passo del Saltello: another long climb on a trail. In fact, from kilometer 30 to 95 we will have 90% of dirt roads, which will test the abilities of the athletes with many pitfalls and no space to breathe”.
“After descending to Civago, riders will find one of the most beautiful and fascinating trails of the whole week. From Civago, they will climb up through a long cross, very technical and full of “ups and downs”, sure to be felt in the riders’ legs aster 70 km. The athletes will then arrive in Rescadore with a fast section, with many changes of pace on a surface full of stones and obstacles. From there another long ascent runs alongside the refuge Mount Orsaro and ends on the Passo della Cisa, where the riders will be able to breathe for a few moments. A trail leads up to the medieval village of Sologno and then to the bridge that crosses the Secchia river, from where it is possible to admire the Bismantova Rock. They will then return on asphalt on the provincial road until the finish of Castelnovo ne’ Monti”.
The stage winner will take six to six and half hours to finish the race, “but even the most trained riders will have to suffer”, Bortolotti said. But the true nature of Appenninica is to win the challenge with yourself, regardless the GC position. That’s why Appenninica opted to abolish the time limit for the two stages longer than 100 km. “We want everyone to come to Appenninica with the desire of testing themselves and give them the opportunity to succeed. We are their main supporters” Bortolotti concluded.
On the day, the bikers will race in the midst of the Parmigiano Reggiano production area, and a breathtaking scenary will frame their efforts on the MTB. It is not by coincidence that the Tuscan and Emilian Apennines, where the majority of the Appenninica action unfolds, were chosen by the UNESCO as MAB Reserve (Man and the Biosphere) to promote a balanced relationship between man and the environment through the protection of biodiversity and good practices of sustainable development.
The MTB stage race taking place in Italy, in the Emilian Apennines, is warming up for an exciting edition from July 19th to 25th, 2020
Ph. E. Melchiori
Only six months are left to the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, and the countdown has started. From July 19th to 25th, 2020, the Emilian Apennines will welcome bikers from all over the world for a seven-day MTB race, looking to continue in the wake of the success of last year’s first edition. Again this year, hard work will be needed to the riders to earn the cherished finisher’s medal: given the profile of the Italian Apennines, an area still largely unexplored by the MTB world, that could have been taken for granted.
From the first edition, the organizers chose for a demanding course, putting a strain on the riders’ capabilities, but also giving them every chance to realize what they are surrounded from: a breathtaking landscape and a typical Italian atmosphere, which make “Appenninica” a truly unique experience.
It is more than a race, a real adventure to discover the territory, each rider’s limits, the authentic values that can be found in living a week fully immersed in the “big family” of Appenninica. A challenging and intense race that will be remembered beyond the final result, just like the Cape Epic, the South African stage race that is considered the most important in this specific sector. Also for this, considering Appenninica “the Italian Cape Epic” might sound ambitious, but not out of place.
The route follows, wherever possible, the MTB trail of the Alta Via dei Parchi that leads all over to Tuscany, touching the provinces of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma. The bikers will face a total of 460 kilometers distributed over seven stages, with steep climbs and technical descents, for an elevation gain of about 16 thousand meters.
On Sunday, July 19th, the start and the finish of the stage will be in the thermal city of Porretta Terme (Bologna), with 43 challenging kilometers and the climb of Mount Piella as a key point, on top of which the beautiful scenery of the Reno valley will open for the riders.
More hurdles expect the athletes on Monday, July 20th, with stage 2 from Porretta Terme to Fanano (Modena) of 65 kilometers, featuring the ascent to the Passo dello Strofinatoio, with the charming coasting of the Scaffaiolo Lake, to continue with the Passo della Croce Arcana, the Passo del Colombino and the descent along the mythical CAI 425 trail.
The third stage on Tuesday, July 21st presents 50 kilometers with start and finish line in Fanano: it will offer one of the best sceneries of the week, with the majestic chestnut woods to frame the first part of the race, before facing highly-entertaining trails, with technical descents, ridges with view and toboggan.
The next day, on Wednesday, July 22nd, it is time for the “Queen Stage”, from Fanano to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) for a total of 105 kilometers and over 4,000 meters of elevation gain. Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello and Passo della Cisa will be the climbs on the menu, making for an epic day.
On Thursday, July 23rd, Castelnovo ne’ Monti will host the start and the finish of the fifth stage (50 kilometers), taking place by the banks of the Calamone Lake in the first part, and in the nearbies of the Pietra of Bismantova massif in the second, for a rippling race full of ups and downs.
From Castelnovo ne’ Monti the riders will go to Noceto (Parma) for the 105-km-long sixth stage on Friday, July 24th, and leaving behind the Apennine chain and diving into the Po Valley, with rivers and valleys that will keep company to the riders during the whole stage.
This great week of racing will end with the Noceto-Noceto stage, on Saturday, July 25th, with 40 kilometers in the background of the Boschi di Carrega park, that is sure to be remembered for the ride through the courtyards of historical villas, home to Maria Luigia (duchess of Parma and Napoleon’s wife).
Ph. E. Melchiori
SOLO OR IN PAIRS
As in the first edition, it is possible to participate in the Apenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race both individually– men and women – and in pairs, with three different modalities: men, women and mixed.
In order not to overcrowd the trails, many of which ride through regional and national parks, and to ensure the highest level of quality to all the athletes during and after the race, the organizers chose for a closed number of maximum 150 registered athletes.
Like all the main MTB stage events, such as Cape Epic, Apenninica MTB Stage Race is a full-service race: from meals to accommodation, from refreshments to mechanical assistance in the race, from out-of-race transportatio to technical equipment and medical assistance, every aspect is guaranteed by the organization at the highest levels of quality. Further services are available for athletes on request, from hotel accommodation to the bike setup after the race, or even the massages after the effort.
In addition, in collaboration with Tourissimo – Active Travel in Italy, Apenninica offers packages for those willing to accompany the bikers without racing, with the possibility to move easily and discover the beauty and atmosphere of the Emilian Apennines.
PARMIGIANO REGGIANO: ITALIAN EXCELLENCE
The promotion of the territory, and the Emilian Apennines in particular, in the perspective of summer and outdoor tourism, is one of the main purposes for Appenninica, and in this sense no better companion could be found than Parmigiano Reggiano.
Title sponsor from the start, the most famous Italian cheese in the World comes to life right in the areas crossed by the athletes of the Apenninica. Parmigiano Reggiano will lead a journey at the discovery of genuineness and authentic tastes, to be found at the feed zones along the route and as well as every night at dinner. All the efforts of the athletes will be paid back by the warm welcome of the Emilian cuisine.
THE ATHLETES AT THE START: A WORLDWIDE EVENT
At the start of the Apennines there will also be an official “Parmigiano Reggiano” team, led by experienced Italian cross-country athlete Andrea Tiberi, who took part in the Rio Olympics, now looking for new challenges in his last season as a professional biker. In addition to him, several more remarkable riders are expected in Porretta Terme, with a bigger international participation comparing with the debut season.
Among those who have already confirmed his participation in the event, there are the winners of the teams classification of last year, Dutchmen Maurits Buist and Henk Bos, Italian Lorenzo De Sanctis, third in 2019 in the solo classification, and Mirko Pirazzoli, also a former cross country specialist and now active in the Marathon activity.