Three days in Castelnovo ne’ Monti to open Appenninica 2022

In 2022, the town in the province of Reggio Emilia will host the start of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race (4-10 September) for the first time. The athletes will kick things off with three days in the shadow of the Bismantova Rock

The story of Appenninica MTB Stage Race continues in Castelnovo ne’ Monti. After staging the grand finale of the last two editions, the town in the Province of Reggio Emilia will hold the start of the 2022 race (September 4-10, 2022) in the shadow of the Bismantova Rock, the iconic mountain to which Dante’s Purgatory was inspired. 

Having been a stage venue of Appenninica every year since the first edition, Castelnovo ne’ Monti showed a neat commitment to the format of the mountain bike stage race on the trails of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines. This time, Castelnovo will welcome the Appenninica family for no less than three days of racing. 

The first two stages will run along the popular trails of the Reggio Emilia Apennines, highlighting an area rich in history and charm. The much-anticipated third stage, the High Mountain Queen Stage, will also start from Castelnovo ne’ Monti.

On Saturday, September 3rd, the central Piazza Gramsci will already come alive with the preliminary operations and the expo area with all the local associations involved in promoting outdoor activities.

Piazza Gramsci will be the venue of the start and finish of the first stage on Sunday, September 4th, when the athletes will ride through the territories of Matilda di Canossa’s reign, among castles and ancient routes. La Matildica, with its 52 km and 1850 meters of elevation gain, will warm the athletes’ legs around the iconic Bismantova Rock, touching the Castle of Carpineti. It will be continuous hilly ups and downs alongside Monte Fosola and the long bank of the Secchia river.

The following day, Monday, September 5th, another loop stage with start and finish in Castelnovo ne’ Monti will take place. The 62 kilometers and 2350 meters of elevation gain of The Rock stage will considerably raise the bar, through the ascent to the Monte Ventasso and the passage over the scenic Calamone Lake before reaching the crest of the Monte Pastorale. Again, a sequence of ups and downs will take the athletes from the highest point of the course back to the finish line. 

On Tuesday, September 6th, Castelnovo ne’ Monti will greet the Appenninica MTB Stage Race caravan before the athletes tackle the most challenging stage of the 2022 edition, the High Mountain Queen Stage (105 km and 3650 meters of elevation gain) with arrival in Fanano (Modena). On the route, Passo della Cisa, Monte Cusna, and Pian Cavallaro are just some of the difficulties that could completely overturn the general classification.  

We are delighted to host the Appenninica MTB Stage Race in Castelnovo ne’ Monti for the fourth straight year. We believe mountain biking has the Apennines as its territory of choice, with routes in untouched natural environments, through towns and villages rich in history, art, and culture, inhabited by welcoming people. Sports are a key vehicle to the promotion of these territories: we look forward to having the participants of Appenninica MTB Stage Race back with us in September,” said Enrico Bini, mayor of Castelnovo ne’ Monti. 


Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the surrounding territories are full of history and magic, starting with the Bismantova Rock, which, according to tradition, inspired Dante’s Purgatory during a stay of the poet in 1306, as also reported in the Canto IV of the Divine Comedy’s Purgatory. The Castelnovo area also boasts several fortresses and castles, once part of the reign of Matilda of Canossa, between 1000 and 1100 AD.

The medieval town’s historical center is definitely worth a visit. It was renovated in recent years, and it offers some truly characteristic views. Among these is the Palazzo Ducale, immersed in the green gardens of Bagnolo, built by the Este family as a symbol of their domination over the territory, and is now the venue of Castelnovo’s City Hall.

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

Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the Bismantova Rock welcome back the Appenninica show

The program of the MTB stage race (4-9 September) was anticipated by the “Appenninica lovers” Granfondo. Starting from tomorrow, the main event will kick off with Hans Becking and Tiago Ferreira leading the title race, while Naima Diesner emerges as the top contender in the Women’s field

With 150 riders from all continents, the Appenninica challenge goes global

Approaching its fifth edition (September 4-9, 2023), Appenninica MTB Stage Race – the mountain bike stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, Italy – is set to showcase 150 athletes hailing from 24 Nations, marking a sold-out status. This year, the event introduces an innovative initiative: Appenninica Teen Camp

Miguel Martinez leads the charge of “The Appenninici”

Cross-country gold medalist from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Miguel Martinez, is set to kick off the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race (September 4-9, 2023). A multitude of riders will converge for this stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines, seeking a distinctive adventure filled with a treasure trove of stories and anecdotes.

Riders bulletin n.6/2023

Riders bulletin n.6 August 29, 2023   This is the sixth rider bulletin. These bulletins will provide useful information, news, and mandatory action reminders. Race time is Sunday!   The starting list is on the website. Click here. The event is sold out....

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Debora Piana and Kristina Ilina challenge Naima Diesner for Appenninica throne

The German, winner of the last two editions, will be the athlete to beat at the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race (Sept. 4-9), but the Italian rider and the Russian national champion will be upfront to try to spoil her plans