Third time’s the charm: Hans Becking returns to Appenninica for the hat trick

In the few years of history of Appenninica MTB Stage Race, several riders have reported a similar experience: they first came to the Apennines out of curiosity, for the challenge, to discover something new, and eventually could not do without it anymore. And even the first Elite Men’s rider to claim two editions in the history of Italy’s most important MTB stage race makes no exception.

The first official contender for success in the 2024 edition, from September 2 to 7, boasts a well-known name: it’s reigning champion Hans Becking. The Dutchman of BUFF-Megamo is currently preparing for his adventure at the Cape Epic, where he will compete with Wout Alleman, but has the third crown at Appenninica among his top goals for the season. Before winning in 2023, Becking had claimed his first win in 2020, both times seeing off former Marathon MTB World Champion Tiago Ferreira in second place.

I am happy to announce that I will be at the start of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race again this year. It’s a race that’s close to my heart and where you breathe a very familir atmosphere”, said the 37-year-old Dutchman.

The BUFF-Megamo rider has just finished second in the Andalucia Bike Race paired with European Champion Wout Alleman. It’s not by chance that Becking is considered one of the strongest riders in the world in the MTB stage races scenario, and the fact that he has won the GC on both his occasions in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines speaks volumes about the feeling he has found with this territory.

I have participated in Appenninica on two occasions, and I am very proud that I was able to win in both cases,” Becking said. “But I am looking forward to many strong riders coming to contest me for the win in 2024. This race deserves a high level of participation, and I hope to experience a very high-profile challenge”.

While waiting to know the names of his rivals, Becking can set another record in the history of the race: in case of another overall win, he would move past Naima Diesner (2, like him) to become the sole Elite rider to have won three editions of the race.

Appenninica comes in the thick of the season, in a pressure-filled period, and participating means experiencing a week in contact with the essence of mountain biking. Then it is positioned a few weeks before the World Championships. The routes are a perfect mix to sharpen preparation, with challenging climbs, very technical trails, and the beautiful landscapes of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines“, says the Dutchman.

The atmosphere outside the race is among the elements that have clicked with Becking. The Emilia-Romagna hospitality and the family atmosphere make the Appenninica MTB Stage Race a perfect setting for experiencing a challenging 400 km and 14,000 meters of elevation gain.

Thanks to the Appenninica staff, you can focus only on the race without stress. They call you by name and develop a personal relationship with those who share the experience, you can taste excellent Italian food and you are pampered like in a big family. Even though the level of competition is very high, at Appenninica, you have fun and experience a fantastic atmosphere”, explains Becking.

HOW TO REGISTER

Registration is open in the “Regular Registration” phase until May 31, 2024. As for the last five editions, the organizers have confirmed the individual format and the closed number of up to 150 participants: a choice aimed at avoiding overcrowding of the trails and ensuring all participants a high-quality standard in race support.

 

THE ROUTE OVERVIEW

 

Stage 1 – Via degli Dei – 48 km and 1500 m of elevation gain

Monday, September 2: Bologna – Loiano

 

Stage 2 – The Gothic Line – 63 km and 2250 m of elevation gain

Tuesday, September 3: Loiano – Lizzano in Belvedere

 

Stage 3 – Monte Cimone Challenge XL – 65 km and 2850 m of elevation gain

Wednesday, September 4: Lizzano in Belvedere – Fiumalbo

 

Stage 4 – Tuscan Borderline – 69 km and 2500 m of elevation gain

Thursday, September 5: Fiumalbo – Fiumalbo

 

Stage 5 – Mountain Queen Stage – 95 km and 3200 m of elevation gain

Friday, September 6: Fiumalbo – Castelnovo ne’ Monti

 

Stage 6 – Windy Way Home – 56 km and 1750 m of elevation gain

Saturday, September 7: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti

 

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

Becking and Ilina secure victory in the opening act of Appenninica 2023

The Dutch rider from Team Buff-Megamo the Russian of DMT Racing Team have made an impact on the inaugural stage of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Completing the men’s podium were Tiago Ferreira and Martino Tronconi, while Debora Piana and Nina Brenn claimed spots on the women’s top-3. Tomorrow, September 5th, comes the anticipated Queen Stage