The countdown is over: Appenninica gets underway in Porretta Terme  

From September 27th to October 3rd, from Porretta Terme to Collecchio, passing through Fanano and Castelnovo ne’ Monti, Appenninica’s second edition starts for 450 km, 16,000 meters of total elevation gain, and featuring big names of the international MTB scene

The wait was longer than initially expected, but now Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage 2020 is ready to go. Tomorrow, on Sunday, September 27th, the second edition of the unique Italian MTB stage race on the Emilian Apennines will start with an individual time trial from Porretta Terme (Bologna). Trails, climbs and descents will keep the bikers busy until Saturday, October 3rd, when Collecchio (Parma) and the Giarola Court will celebrate the final winners.

Having been forced to push the event from Summer to Fall due to the epidemiological emergency, the Organizing Committee led by Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno resiliently ran its initiative, and a prestigious starting list has amply rewarded it. That’s a promise of great fun over the 450 km and 16,000 meters of total elevation gain expecting the riders.

The XCM European Champion and former World Champion, Portuguese Tiago Ferreira, will be under the spotlight, making the race even more exciting along with his teammate, Dutch Hans Becking. His presence, however, will also motivate his opponents, starting with the defending champion, Austrian Lukas Kaufmann, who does not intend to give up easily despite a greater competition. As a specialist in this type of events, Spaniard-Honduran Milton Ramos will certainly try to add another race to his important palmares, while Lorenzo Samparisi is probably the top option for the Italian hopes.

Equally exciting is the challenge in the womens’ field, with a former World Champion, Swiss Esther Süss, leading a group of very competitive athletes. Lorenza Menapace, from Trentino, is back a year after winning the event in the pairs’ category (canceled this year due to health reasons), trying to repeat the feat in the individual race, while German Sarah Reiners and Italian Gaia Ravaioli will try once more to prove their talent. Finally, it will also be interesting to see at work former German Olympian Regina Marunde, who raced on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines at the 1991 World Championships in “Il Ciocco”.

In the field, there will be also many athletes and enthusiasts whose experience will be focused more on the charm of the adventure than the competition, a journey to discover their limits, to complete the race and enjoy the beauty of the Apennines and the typical Italian atmosphere.

THE COURSE

The route follows, wherever possible, the MTB trail of the Alta Via dei Parchi that leads all over to Tuscany, touching the provinces of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma. On Sunday, September 27th, the start and the finish of the stage will be in the thermal city of Porretta Terme (Bologna), with a 45-km-long individual time trial and the climb of Mount Piella as a key point, on top of which the beautiful scenery of the Reno valley will open for the riders.

More hurdles expect the athletes on Monday, September 28th, with stage 2 from Porretta Terme to Fanano (Modena) of 60 kilometers, featuring the ascent to the Passo dello Strofinatoio, with the charming coasting of the Scaffaiolo Lake, to continue with the Passo della Croce Arcana, the Passo del Colombino and the descent along the mythical CAI 425 trail.

The third stage on Tuesday, September 29th presents 50 kilometers with start and finish line in Fanano and was charted by renowned trail builder Pippo Marani: it will offer one of the best scenery of the week, with the majestic chestnut woods to frame the first part of the race, before facing highly-entertaining trails, with technical descents, ridges with view and toboggan.

The next day, on Wednesday, September 30th, it is time for the “Queen Stage”, from Fanano to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) for a total of 110 kilometers and over 4,000 meters of elevation gain. Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello and Passo della Cisa will be the climbs on the menu, making for an epic day.

On Thursday, October 1st, Castelnovo ne’ Monti will host the start and the finish of the fifth stage (53 kilometers), taking place by the banks of the Calamone Lake in the first part, and in the nearbies of the Pietra of Bismantova massif in the second, for a rippling race full of ups and downs.

From Castelnovo ne’ Monti the riders will go to Collecchio (Parma) and the Giarola Court for the 94-km-long sixth stage on Friday, October 2nd, and leaving behind the Apennine chain and diving into the Po Valley, with rivers and valleys that will keep company to the riders during the whole stage.

A great racing week will end with the Collecchio-Collecchio stage, on Saturday, October 3rd, with 35 kilometers in the background of the Carrega Woods park, that is sure to be remembered for the ride through the courtyards of historical villas, home to Marie Louise (duchess of Parma and Napoleon’s wife).

Sunday, September 27th: Porretta Terme – Porretta Terme (45 km)
Elevation Gain: 1645 m

Monday, September 28th: Porretta Terme – Fanano (60 km)
Elevation Gain: 2650 m

Tuesday, September 29th: Fanano – Fanno (50 km)
Elevation Gain: 2300 m

Wednesday, September 30th: Fanano – Castelnovo ne’ Monti (110 km)
Elevation Gain: 4300 m

Thursday, October 1st: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti (53 km)
Elevation Gain: 1900 m

Friday, October 2nd: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Collecchio (94 km)
Elevation Gain: 2500 m

Saturday, October 3rd: Collecchio – Collecchio (35 km)
Elevation Gain: 650 m

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