Team Garmin South Africa at Appenninica MTB Stage Race

We recently reached out to Team Garmin (South Africa) as they have confirmed their participation to the 2019 Appenninica MTB Stage Race. With their team, Appenninica adds a new country and another continent to the starting list.

Yolandi du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel are very familiar faces in the MTB stage race circuit and they are ready to tackle the Apennines next July.

– How was your 2018 season? Give us a highlight.

We are very happy with our 2018 season. We raced 64 days in total making it a full year for us with many wonderful experiences and memories. If we have to mention a highlight then it would be our participation at The Pioneer NZ. It was our first trip to that part of the world and participating on unknown terrain is always an exciting experience no matter the outcome. As a bonus New Zealand turned out to be one of the most beautiful and bike friendly destinations we have ever visited.

– Have you been to Italy before and why Appenninica appealed to you?

We have raced in Italy before but only in the North during the Craft Bike TransAlp and some marathon races in the Tirol and the Dolomites. Back then we already fell in love with the beautiful countryside and the warmth of its people. When the opportunity arose to explore a different part of Italy by bike, especially an area as attractive as Emilia Romagna and the Appennine Mountains, we couldn’t resist. Now we can’t wait to see what the Appenninica MTB stage race has in stall for us.

Team Garmin is a solid and experienced mixed team. Yolandi and Ben know how to approach a long stage race and we expect them to be competitive while charming everyone with their usual great attitude.

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Appenninica4All, The stage race for everyone

 More approachable, less demanding but equally intense and complete, Appenninica4 condenses in 4 stages the essence of a proper Stage Race: make sure you don’t underestimate it.

While the long-distance Appenninica is going to mean business only for the most physically and mentally prepared athletes, thanks to Appenninica4 the dream of a MTB adventure over more days is going to be within reach for all, and still not an easy undertaking, by any means. For many riders, it is going to be the sporting challenge of a lifetime. For others, it will be the springboard and the rehearsal for the bigger brother, in which stages will be seven (plus the Prologue).

Appenninica4 is still going to be a 265 km-long Stage Race with 8,780 m of climbing spread over 4 days of competition; a race that requires serious preparation, planning, managing; a challenge in which an expert observer would find all the same ingredients that characterize the Full Race. 

Leaving aside the fact that this race is specifically dedicated to SOLO participants, plenty of other things are common to both Appenninica4 and its bigger brother, Appenninica Stage Race:

  • A tough race course that reaches its crescendo in the Queen Stage: once that stage is in the bag, it will only be a matter of enjoying the grand finale, staying focussed all the time though.
  • Stages that go across 3 different provinces following a route known as Alta via dei Parchi, throughout unique and unexplored territories stretched over 5 Protected Natural Areas
    • Regional Park Corno alle Scale
    • Regional Park of Suviana and Brasimone Lakes 
    • Regional Park Vena del Gesso Romagnola 
    • National Park of Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna
    • Interregional Park Sasso Simone e Simoncello 
  • Amazing atmosphere in the Race Village, that will make the time spent between finish line and start of the following stage an equally memorable experience for all participants, no matter what race they are in. All competitors will become part of a community, where friendships will grow stronger than competitiveness. 
  • Complete package of services for the athletes here.

Exactly like it happens for the Full Race event, some riders will take part in Appenninica4 mainly to live the experience and face the challenge of reaching the finish line, while others will be racing with the ranking in mind, to be on the podium of this very first edition of the event.

Despite that, they will all participate in the grand finale of Bagno di Romagna to be awarded – once they have crossed the finish line –  the Appenninica4 finisher’s t-shirt. And then, back on their home trails, they will realize how this absolutely outstanding experience in the saddle has made them stronger.

These are the details of the 4 Stages (corresponding to the second part of the race route of Appenninica) that will take place between Wednesday 24 July and Saturday 27 July:

24 July – Porretta Terme: La Cronoscalata del Monte Piella (time trial)
Length 23 km – Elevation Gain 830 m

25 July – Porretta Terme – Castel del Rio: La Linea Gotica [The Gothic Line]
Length 90km – Elevation Gain 2300 m

26 July – Castel del Rio – Bagno di Romagna: Queen Stage
Length 112 km – Elevation Gain 4000 m

27 July – Bagno di Romagna – Bagno di Romagna: La Tecnica [The Technical]
Length 40 km – Elevation Gain 1650 m

Total distance: Km 265 – Total Elevation Gain: 8,780

Registration with Promo Code until January 27