The Appenninica 2023 kickoff takes place under the Bismantova Rock

The mention of Bismantova Rock immediately brings to mind the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. The places that were once fiefdoms of Matilda of Canossa serve as the home territory for this mountain bike stage race in the Emilia-Romagna ApenninesCastelnovo ne’ Monti has hosted at least one stage of Appenninica every year and is now preparing to hold the 2023 edition, scheduled for September 4-9, 2023.

This town in the Reggio Emilia province, made famous by the Bismantova Rock that inspired Dante’s Purgatory, will host the preliminary operations of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023, starting on Sunday, September 3rd, with the arrival of the athletes. Also on that date, there will be Appenninica Lovers, a meeting open to all and dedicated to amateur cyclists on the route of the first stage race.

The official start is scheduled for Monday, September 4, with an opening loop stage covering 57 kilometers and featuring 1900 meters of total elevation gainLa Matildica is a deceptively challenging section with long climbs and highly technical descents. The athletes will face a downhill single trail to cross the Tresinaro River before climbing towards Carpinete Castle. The striking passage under the iconic Bismantova Rock will precede the athletes’ return to Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

Finding the right rhythm with Appenninica will be crucial because, on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, the extremely demanding Mountain Queen Stage is scheduled. Covering 89 kilometers and featuring 3250 meters of elevation gain, this stage will start from Castelnovo ne’ Monti and reach Fiumalbo, offering breathtaking views and a route mostly above 1500 meters of altitude. The route will include challenging sections such as the Cisa Pass, the Mount Cusna area, and the Radici Pass before reaching Pievepelago via a single track.

Castelnovo ne’ Monti welcomes the Appenninica MTB Race again this year with great pleasure. Among the many sporting events that we will host in the summer as a ‘town for sport,’ Appenninica holds great importance due to its international dimension, and mountain biking has experienced exponential growth in recent years. There are numerous fans who ride our roads and trails, appreciating and enhancing our territory and its environmental quality,” says Enrico Bini, the mayor of Castelnovo ne’ Monti.


Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the surrounding territories are rich in history and magic, starting with the Bismantova Rock. According to tradition, this rock inspired Dante’s Purgatory during the poet’s stay in 1306, as mentioned in Canto IV of the Divine Comedy’s Purgatory. The Castelnovo area also boasts several fortresses and castles that were once part of the reign of Matilda of Canossa between 1000 and 1100 AD.

The medieval town’s historical center is definitely worth a visit. It has been renovated in recent years, offering truly characteristic views. One of these views is the Palazzo Ducale, located amidst the green gardens of Bagnolo. Built by the Este family as a symbol of their domination over the territory, it now serves as Castelnovo’s City Hall.

The Appenninica 2024 route: kicking off in Bologna with 14,000 meters of elevation gain

The organizers have unveiled the route for the MTB stage race, scheduled from September 2 to 7. Confirmed stage venues include Lizzano in Belvedere, Fiumalbo, and Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the grand finale, with Loiano making its debut this year. Participants will face a total of 400 km and 14,000 meters of elevation gain

The Appenninici – An Olympic champion discovers Appenninica

Among the protagonists of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race are many stories of sport and life. Miguel Martinez, Mountain Biking gold medallist at Sydney 2000, participated in the 2023 edition and was impressed by the routes and landscapes of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines and the familiar atmosphere of the race

From Tour the France to the MTB: Appenninica 2024 to kick off in Bologna

The main town of Emilia-Romagna is poised to inaugurate the sixth edition of Appenninica MTB Stage Race on September 2, 2024. Bathed in the afterglow of the Tour de France’s visit in July, the MTB challenge is set to bring more cycling emotions to the city

Appenninica MTB Stage Race Adventure Returns from September 2 to 7, 2024

The renowned MTB stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines confirms its six-day format, announcing its schedule for the 2024 season. Early Bird registration commences on December 1

Becking and Piana conquer Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023

The Dutch rider of Buff-Megamo is the first male athlete to win two editions of Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Becking sealed the overall win by raising arms again in the last stage, followed by Tiago Ferreira and Tim Smeenge, who join him on the podium in second and third position respectively. Debora Piana takes the women’s GC, while Ilina triumphs again in Vidiciatico. “We are really proud of the athletes’ feedback” said the organizers

Happy day for DMT Racing Team in Vidiciatico. Becking and Piana keep the lead

Tiago Ferreira went all-in in the penultimate stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race from Fanano to Vidiciatico, trying to pursue the leader’s jersey, but Becking kept everything under control. Same plot in the women’s category, with Russian Kristina Ilina taking her second win and Piana in control

Appenninica’s colour is Orange: Smeenge and Becking the stars of stage 4

The Dutch MTB Marathon National champion raises hands in Fanano, while Becking increases his gap in the GC on Tiago Ferreira. Debora Piana keeps dominating and makes it three in a row. Tomorrow, September 8th, the penultimate stage of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023 runs from Fanano to Lizzano in Belvedere

Becking and Piana strenghten their lead in Fiumalbo

The two leaders got the second win at Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023. The Dutch rider of Buff-Megamo Team sprinted over Tiago Ferreira, while things are getting spicy for the bronze medal, with four riders fighting for the third position. In the women’s field, the Italian of Team Cingolani-Specialized secured the leader jersey with another success in Fiumalbo over Ilina. Tomorrow, September 7th, the peloton heads to Fanano

Ferreira and Piana tame the Mountain Queen Stage

The Portuguese athlete of DMT Racing Team answered back to Becking’s success in the opening stage, while Tronconi and Smeenge remain in contention behind them. Debora Piana took the win and the lead in the women’s category. Tomorrow, September 6th, marks the first-ever border crossing from Emilia-Romagna to Tuscany for the race, with the stage starting and finishing again in Fiumalbo

Becking and Ilina secure victory in the opening act of Appenninica 2023

The Dutch rider from Team Buff-Megamo the Russian of DMT Racing Team have made an impact on the inaugural stage of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Completing the men’s podium were Tiago Ferreira and Martino Tronconi, while Debora Piana and Nina Brenn claimed spots on the women’s top-3. Tomorrow, September 5th, comes the anticipated Queen Stage

Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the Bismantova Rock welcome back the Appenninica show

The program of the MTB stage race (4-9 September) was anticipated by the “Appenninica lovers” Granfondo. Starting from tomorrow, the main event will kick off with Hans Becking and Tiago Ferreira leading the title race, while Naima Diesner emerges as the top contender in the Women’s field

With 150 riders from all continents, the Appenninica challenge goes global

Approaching its fifth edition (September 4-9, 2023), Appenninica MTB Stage Race – the mountain bike stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, Italy – is set to showcase 150 athletes hailing from 24 Nations, marking a sold-out status. This year, the event introduces an innovative initiative: Appenninica Teen Camp