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

From the city to the province, through the ridge of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines. It could be the byline of a local tourism campaign, instead it is he core concept chosen by A.S.D. Happy Trail MTB for designing the 2024 Appenninica MTB Stage Race route.

As per the tradition established in recent years, the edition scheduled from September 2 to 7, 2024, promises a demanding challenge. The race will cover 400 km and 14,000 meters of total elevation gain, guiding participants through the enchanting landscapes of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, with its captivating ridges and villages.

The race will commence in Bologna and end in Castelnovo ne’ Monti, with the iconic Bismantova Rock serving as the final arbiter. The route will feature again Lizzano in Belvedere and Fiumalbo, the latter after making its debut in 2023. The new stage venue for 2024 will be Loiano , in the Province of Bologna, finishing town of stage 1.

The 2024 edition continues in the vein of the work done in recent years, yet introduces some new elements,” say Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno, the event’s organizers. “ The kick-off from Bologna and the introduction of Loiano reflect the growing interest in this competition. Additionally, moving the Mountain Queen Stage to the penultimate day may introduce a thrilling dynamic to the finale.


The 2024 edition embarks from Bologna on Monday, September 2, ascending towards the Sanctuary of San Luca. Upon reaching the sanctuary’s vicinity, competitors will navigate the trails of the renowned “Via degli Dei“, connecting Bologna to Florence. The journey covers 48 km and 1500 meters of elevation gain, concluding in Loiano.

The challenge intensifies on Tuesday, September 3, with the “Gothic Line” stage, featuring 63 km and 2250 meters of elevation gain . Starting from Loiano, the race will traverse the Apennines, parallel to the ridge line, facing four demanding climbs, the last exceeding 10 km in length, before the finish line in Lizzano in Belvedere. 

Wednesday, September 4, presents the “Monte Cimone Challenge XL,” a 65 km journey with 2850 meters of elevation gain. This stage, noted for its technical demands and significant elevation, will take riders across iconic trails, including those of Corno alle Scale and Cimone, between Lizzano in Belvedere and Fiumalbo.

On Thursday, September 5, Fiumalbo stages the “Tuscan Borderline,” offering a 69 km route with 2500 meters of elevation gain, showcasing the scenic trails and landscapes of Abetone.

The penultimate day, Friday, September 6 , features the “Mountain Queen Stage,” spanning 95 km and 3200 meters of elevation gain from Fiumalbo to Castelnovo ne’ Monti. Competitors will navigate breathtaking ridges and extensive forest trails, with new challenges distinguishing this stage from previous editions.

The event concludes on Saturday, September 7, with a 56 km loop around Castelnovo ne’ Monti in the Monte Ventasso area, boasting 1750 meters of elevation gain.


Registration for the “Regular Registration” phase is open until May 31, 2024, with prices increasing after March 1. As in the previous editions, the organizers maintain the individual participation format and limit entries to 150 participants. This strategy aims to prevent overcrowding on the trails and ensure comprehensive support for all racers throughout the event.


Stage 1 – Via degli Dei – 48 km and 1500 m of elevation gain

Monday, September 2: Bologna – Loiano


Stage 2 – The Gothic Line – 63 km and 2250 m of elevation gain

Tuesday, September 3: Loiano – Lizzano in Belvedere


Stage 3 – Monte Cimone Challenge XL – 65 km and 2850 m of elevation gain

Wednesday, September 4: Lizzano in Belvedere – Fiumalbo


Stage 4 – Tuscan Borderline – 69 km and 2500 m of elevation gain

Thursday, September 5: Fiumalbo – Fiumalbo


Stage 5 – Mountain Queen Stage – 95 km and 3200 m of elevation gain

Friday, September 6: Fiumalbo – Castelnovo ne’ Monti


Stage 6 – Windy Way Home – 56 km and 1750 m of elevation gain

Saturday, September 7: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti

The Appenninici – From rugby to mountain biking: the unique journey of Sophie Halhead

Among the protagonists of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race many stories of sport and life can be found. Sophie Halhead, who made her second experience in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines in 2023 after taking part in the debut edition, recounts her transition from rugby to the world of mountain biking.

Third time’s the charm: Hans Becking returns to Appenninica for the hat trick

First Elite Man to win two editions of Appenninica MTB Stage Race, the Dutch defending champion of BUFF-Megamo will go for the hat trick from September 2 to 7, 2024. “This race has won my heart,” says Becking.

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