The Dutch rider of the DMT Racing Team, along with his teammate Tiago Ferreira, made the difference in the 110-km-long Queen Stage of Appenninica with over 4000 meters of elevation gain, further reinforcing his GC lead. Esther Süss continues her clear path among women
The Queen Stage was the litmus test for Hans Becking, and he passed it in swing. On Wednesday, September 30th, the fourth stage of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race brought the riders from Fanano (Modena) to Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia). The boys of DMT Racing Team once again confirmed their class, taking the lead of the race early into the 110-km-long stage with 4200 meters of total elevation gain, and arriving together on the finish line of the “Don Bosco” oratory, in the town in the province of Reggio Emilia.
With a fantastic open-air view of the Emilian Apennines, Becking and Ferreira attacked from the start, on the Passo del Saltello, increasing their gap on the Passo San Pellegrino, Passo delle Radici and Passo del Giovarello. Always together, the duo kept the lead for all the 5h48′ race and was the first to get the look of the Bismantova Rock after the last important climb of the day, Passo della Cisa.
With today’s victory, the Dutch added another stage win to the inaugural time trial in Porretta Terme, and he further tightened his grab on general classification, while his teammate Ferreira, XCM European Champion, was runner-up. Third-placed on the day, at 9’16”, was French Joseph De Poortere (Rockrider-Decathlon), who beat Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) in a sprint.
“Almost six hours of racing, it was tough! But it was worth it – Becking explained -. The first climb on asphalt was fantastic, the view on the Apennines was more and more charming as we proceeded. Tiago and I set our pace from the start, and being together was a smart choice, since dealing with six hours alone wouldn’t have been so fun. It was by far the longest stage of my season, and certainly one of the hardest”.
In the overall standings, Becking holds 7’44” on teammate Ferreira, and with today’s performance, Samparisi managed to solidify the third provisional place at 24’58”, as Milton Ramos (Rockrider-Decathlon) closed more than 18 minutes behind the winner.
“Am I closer to the final victory? Probably, but I have participated in many stage races and I know that you can not be sure until it’s over – Becking continued -. The legs are still great, and no matter where I will finish, I will return home from Appenninica with very fond memories”.
WHO CAN STOP ESTHER SÜSS?
Days go by, but Esther Süss doesn’t seem to be giving up an inch. In addition to winning the women’s Queen Stage, the former World Champion closed 20th overall in the stage, beating many men colleagues. At 28’22”, Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Dama) finished second.
“Mentally it was tough today – Süss explained, exhausted, after the finish line -. I was alone for most of the time, and while the landscapes were beautiful, I actually suffered a lot. I always try to give my best and discover my limits, when I’m on saddle I like to give it all”.
THE BISMANTOVA ROCK ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1ST, WITH STAGE 5 CASTELNOVO-CASTELNOVO (50 KM)
On Thursday, October 1st, it will be Castelnovo ne’ Monti‘s day, with stage 5 starting and finishing in Piazza Peretti, in the old town. The first part of the route follows – in the opposite direction – a stretch of the first edition: after the first kilometers on paved road, a sequence of fast forest roads and uphill trails rise towards the Montemiscoso mountain village. A 5-km paved climb leads to the beautiful setting of the glacial-origin Lake Calamone, and from there, a long and pleasant downhill trail leads back to Cervarezza and another uphill forest road.
Back to the top of the mountain, there is a short and fun downhill that anticipates some “ups and downs” on fast roads until reaching the base of the majestic Bismantova Rock, an authentic symbol of Appenninica, and framing the last part of the course until the finish in Piazza Peretti.