The stage has been set by the Bismantova Rock: it’s time for Appenninica

A festive eve in Castelnovo ne’ Monti with “Appenninica lovers,” which brought fans along the race route of the first stage of Appenninica MTB, scheduled for tomorrow, September 4, 2022. Marathon world champion runner-up, Diego Arias, is the race favourite, while the women will fight for Naima Diesner’s crown

There couldn’t have been a warmer welcome by the Bismantova RockCastelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia, Italy) was festively coloured on the eve of Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2022, just in time for racers to take to the trails of the Emilia-Romagna Apennine in this edition. Scheduled from tomorrow, September 4, until September 10, 135 participants will take part in the Italian stage race.

The bike has already played a main role, thanks to the Castelnovo Bike Fest, organized in collaboration with Appennino Reggiano Bike assosiations, which brought fans along the race route of the first Appenninica stage. Piazza Gramsci, location of the start/finish for Stage 1, “La Matildica,” (52 km with 1800 meters of elevation gain), hosted the eve day in a festive atmosphere, where food trucks and musical entertainment took the spotlight. 

From tomorrow onward it will be serious business and all eyes will be on Diego Arias. The runner-up mtb marathon world champion will start out as the race favourite, but he will have to reckon with Felix Fritzsch, who doesn’t intend to leave the throne unchallenged. The athletes of the DMT Racing Team are also out to win, with Miguel Munoz Moreno leading the Italian team, while the Dutchmen, Gosse van der Meer and Evert Koning, could each play the role of outsider, and so could the Italian, Filippo Bertone.

In the women’s field, Naima Diesner is back with every intention to confirm her position as Appenninica’s queen, but she will have to face a tough bunch of fierce rivals, starting with Ukraine’s Elena Novikova, who’s an expert in long-distance racing, to former Olympic road athletes, Maaike Polspoel and Rozanne Slik. For Italy, the ranking hopes are on the shoulders of Camilla Marinelli, while Lithuanian Ieva Venckute starts as an outsider.

THE ROUTE

After the first section, a loop around Castelnovo ne’ Monti through the region of Matilda di Canossa to warm up the legs, the second stage “The Rock,” on Monday, Sept. 5, will start to raise the level of competition with its 62 kilometres and 2350 meters of elevation gain, thanks to a very fast first segment followed by a second one full of ups and downs.

This will only be the appetizer for the “High Mountain Queen Stage” scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6, and starting from Castelnovo ne’ Monti to Fanano105 km with 3600 meters of elevation gain will determine the general classification through the Monte Cusna area before the climb toward Pian Cavallaro, the last ascent before the finish line in Piazza Corsini.

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, it will be time for some extra fun with the “Pippo Yeah 2.0,” the stage designed by trail builder Pierpaolo “Pippo” Marani55 km and 2200 meters of elevation gain with start and finish in Fanano, will face the climbs of Passo del Colombino and Passo di Croce Arcana, with technical descents and numerous single-track sections in between.

From Fanano to Porretta Terme, on Thursday, Sept. 8, Appenninica racers will tackle 67 kilometres with 2,200 meters of elevation gain along the Linea Gotica (Gothic Line), after which the stage is named. Two technical descents before the finish could make the difference for the final stage victory.

The penultimate route, “Il Corno,” scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, from Porretta Terme to Lizzano in Belvedere, has plenty of pitfalls. The first 30 km will cross untouched forest trails absent of human settlements, while in the second part of the 63-km stage with 2700 meters of elevation gain, the climb of the Passo dello Strofinatoio will test the athletes.

The grand finale is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, and counts 37 kilometres with 1550 elevation gain for the “Monte Pizzo” stage, which is immersed in the trails of the Monte Pizzo bike park. Much of the general classification may already be decided, but the route – with start and finish in the village of Vidiciatico, in the municipality of Lizzano in Belvedere, hides several pitfalls, in grand Appenninica style.

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