The Appenninici: from Hong Kong to Emilia-Romagna, falling in love at Appenninica

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race characters have plenty of stories to tell, either about life or sport. In 2021, Mark Leeper enjoyed a relaxing time in Castelnovo ne’ Monti at the end of a race week that he describes as “the best stage race I have ever done”

Cycling allows discovering places that remain stuck in the memory and heart. The purpose of Appenninica MTB Stage Race is to lift the veil on the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, its landscapes and beauty, showcasing them to the many athletes who each year participate in the stage race, scheduled in 2022 from September 4th to 10th.

Among them, some couldn’t resist the allure of the Apennines, and once the efforts of Appenninica were over, they didn’t hesitate to stay a few more days to enjoy it in a more relaxed and relaxing way. This was the case of Mark Leeper, a participant of the 2021 Appenninica MTB Stage Race coming from Hong Kong, who has found his wellbeing oasis in Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

Last year, I took the time to stay over in Castelnovo ne’ Monti after the Appenninica MTB Stage race, enjoying excellent food and convenient coffee shops for remote work with my laptop. All the riders need recovery time after such a challenging event. There’s nothing better than spending some extra few days in the final destination town rather than immediately returning home. Riding around Emilia Romagna at Appenninica showed me many different sides of this beautiful Italian region and made it worth another visit in the future”, said Mark Leeper. 

The Appenninica route crosses typical places in the Apennines of Emilia-Romagna, among villages and high-altitude ridges. After participating in several mountain bike stage races worldwide, Mark Leeper, like other participants, has fallen in love with the perfect mix of untouched landscapes and technical routes.

At Appenninica, you find more technical trails than in the Alps or the Dolomites. Such a beautiful combination of speed, flow and technical challenge is hard to findThe tough, steep and rocky route made Appenninica MTB the best multi-day mountain bike race I have ever done. For me, it was better than the Cape Epic, Swiss Epic, TransRockies and the BC Bike Race”, explained Mark Leeper, a rider with plenty of experience all over the World. 

The Happy Trail MTB ASD organizers have always committed to the family and convivial atmosphere during the race week. Over the years, this has enabled friendships and bonds to be forged among competitors, organizers, and insiders, creating a true Appenninica Family. In his experience in the Italian stage race, Mark Leeper also perceived this atmosphere.

The group of Appenninica MTB Stage Race starters is smaller in numbers, but the organizational team is truly excellent. These two aspects contribute to a very special atmosphere, enhanced by efficient logistics, excellent refreshments, and genuine hospitality. Every day there are many opportunities to meet up with other athletes in the race, especially over dinner. And I can’t wait to come back”, Mark Leeper commented.

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

Miguel Martinez leads the charge of “The Appenninici”

Cross-country gold medalist from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Miguel Martinez, is set to kick off the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race (September 4-9, 2023). A multitude of riders will converge for this stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, seeking a distinctive adventure filled with a treasure trove of stories and anecdotes.

Riders bulletin n.6/2023

Riders bulletin n.6 August 29, 2023   This is the sixth rider bulletin. These bulletins will provide useful information, news, and mandatory action reminders. Race time is Sunday!   The starting list is on the website. Click here. The event is sold out....

The Appenninica MTB Stage Race partners’ squad keeps growing stronger

In its fifth edition, scheduled from September 4th to 9th, the race has further stocked its partners’ panel: a testament to the event’s rise towards international prominence, while keeping deep roots in its territory

Debora Piana and Kristina Ilina challenge Naima Diesner for Appenninica throne

The German, winner of the last two editions, will be the athlete to beat at the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race (Sept. 4-9), but the Italian rider and the Russian national champion will be upfront to try to spoil her plans