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.

Loiano to Crown the First Leader of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2024

From Bologna to Loiano, the first stage follows the Via degli Dei route. Covering 42 km with a 1550-meter elevation gain, the race will start with the climb of San Luca, an amazing theater for last weekend’s 2024 Tour de France stage ending in Bologna

The Appenninici – Lillo Lenzi, in love with the Apennines

Among the protagonists of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race are many stories of sports and life. Lillo Lenzi, who took part in the 2023 edition at the age of 70, fulfilled his ambition to complete the adventure on the trails of Emilia-Romagna’s Apennines, which have been his home for many years

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