The Bismantova Rock enhances Tiago Ferreira

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

Ferreira and Süss keep shining in Appenninica

Another double for the DMT Racing Team duo in stage 2, 65 km from Porretta Terme to Fanano. The Portuguese won the stage; the Dutchman held the race lead: “The Apennine is stunning!” Esther Süss keeps dominating among women

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Tiago Ferreira in action on the Apennines’ ridges

Only two days have passed from the start of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race‘s second edition, and “stunning” is the word you keep hearing in the village of the MTB stage race on the Italian Apennines. They clearly were not talking about the race outcome, at least so far: favorites Tiago Ferreira and Hans Becking, among men, and Esther Süss, among women, are obviously living up to the expectations.

On Monday, September 28th, the second stage took the field from Porretta Terme (Bologna) to Fanano (Modena) over 65 km and over 3.000 meters of elevation gain. It was different than the opening effort, and arguably more challenging: there’s little wondering why the stage was named “the technical.” Nevertheless, the outcome eloquently remarked what the first stage had already suggested.

Once again, Tiago Ferreira and Hans Becking of DMT Racing Team have celebrated together on the finish line, strengthening their role as favorites for Appenninica’s second edition. This time it was the Portuguese, reigning European and former World MTB Marathon Champion, to precede his teammate, who smiles in the blue of his Natali-branded leader’s jersey that he claimed yesterday and defended today.

“We accelerated right at the beginning of the climb to the Sboccata dei Bagnadori, around the Rifugio della Segavecchia,” Ferreira said, “and Hans and I paced from there, managing our gap.” “It’s a long week, so we need to manage our effort,” echoed Becking, “and this also allowed us to enjoy the sight a little bit, and it was definitely deserving. We saw incredible places on the course, and the second half of it was so much fun. I have been in many places, including the Alps and the Dolomites, of course, but I am discovering that the Apennines are beautiful in their very own way.”

After warming up the engine in the opening effort, Honduran Milton Ramos (Rockrider-Decathlon) displayed the quality that made him a serial winner of the Iron Bike: he was third on the day, a mere 32 seconds behind the DMT duo. Anyway, his first comment after the finish wasn’t about the overall standings: “Can’t believe the things I saw today. After traveling the World, you assume you pretty much know what to expect. And you’re mistaken: the climbs, the descents, the Apennine ridge we faced today are something incredible. I feel lucky to be here because I didn’t expect Appenninica to be like this: the places, the courses, and the special care they have for each rider like I had never seen before. Amazing.”

The first Italian rider, Lorenzo Samparisi (Team KTM-Alchemist), came in fourth place at 7’04”. Samparisi now occupies the same position in the overall standings behind Becking, Ferreira e Ramos.

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Esther Süss celebrating in Fanano finish line

ESTHER SÜSS’ CLASS ON DISPLAY AGAIN

The women’s race also confirmed what Esther Süss had started showing on Sunday. The Swiss rider claimed another neat success, with the challenging Apennines’ trails enhancing the huge value of the former XCM World Champion and three-time Cape Epic winner.

“Another great course today, and such hard climbs! We went through really tough sections, and I think we will find plenty of those over the week. But my legs are spinning good, and I am enjoying my time here. There’s still a lot to ride, and that’s good news”.

Gaia Ravaioli (KTM-Alchemist) came in second at 18’48”, keeping her runner-up spot in the GC behind Süss and ahead of Sarah Reiners.

STAGE 3 ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2020: FANANO-FANANO (50 km)

The stage 3 will be raced mostly on the natural trails in the area of Fanano and Sestola. The stage is named “Pippo Yeah” after Pier Paolo “Pippo” Marani, the famous trail builder of Val di Sole’s “Black Snake” downhill course, who contributed to charting 2020 Appenninica’s third effort.

After the start on the tarmac, the path to the Colombino Pass will bring the race through chestnut woods to the Capanno Tassoni. From there, the view will open on the singletracks on the ridge between the Passo Croce Arcana, Lago Scaffaiolo and Passo del Lupo. Some portage will be needed before unleashing the speed on the technical tracks that are sure to give the riders a real adrenaline rush, all the way to the finish in Fanano.

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. Milton Ramos finishes third today’s stage

Ph. The Outdoor Lab. The ridges of the Apennines