The Appenninici – Lillo Lenzi, in love with the Apennines

Who said that at 70, you’re too old to take part in a six-day stage race with over 14,000 meters of elevation gain? Lillo Lenzi is the demonstration that limits are just relative, even in a technically and physically challenging sport like mountain biking.

At 70, Lillo was the oldest rider at the start of Appenninica 2024. Since it was the last opportunity for him, as 70 is the age limit for participation to the event, Lillo Lenzi made the most of it, thoroughly enjoying the experience on the trails of the Emilia-Romagna’s Apennines that he knows like the back of his hand.

“For my 70th birthday, I gifted myself Appenninica, thinking ‘now or never’,” Lillo Lenzi says. “It’s an experience that is impossible to explain, because they offer exceptional service, taking care of every aspect and leaving you only the pleasure of riding and enjoying the landscape.”

Lillo knows the Emilia-Romagna Apennines’ landscapes very well. He hails from Gaggio Montano, in the province of Bologna, and has ridden up and down the ridges many times. Yet, despite knowing the trails and routes, he keeps being impressed by all their beauty.

“I’ve always enjoyed biking, discovering new paths, even randomly,” Lillo told. “In 70 years of life, I’ve ridden a lot in these mountains, but every day you discover that something has changed. When we were on the ridge, sometimes it was cloudy, and then suddenly the sky cleared up and the mountains started shining with colors. You’re there in that moment, and you see one thing; you go the next day and see another: the Emilia-Romagna’s Apennines are amazing.”

Lillo enjoyed such wonder with the 150 participants of the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race, most of whom coming from outside of Italy.

“I challenge any of the 150 participants of the Appenninica to say they haven’t seen anything throughout the day that has left them speechless. All this happens in a race, not during a ride among friends, but it’s impossible not to stop and look at the beauty around you,” explains Lillo.

Among the adventures of his 70 years of life, Lenzi features winning a MTB stage race in Libya, a success that made him famous throughout the Bolognese Apennines and beyond. Though he has travelled the World, for Lillo Lenzi nothing can beat his home trails.

“Compared to the Alps, which are also great and beautiful, the Apennines are more familiar and cozier. Riding in the Apennines is different than doing it anywhere else.”

After riding here for 70 years, we’d better believe him.

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

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