The first time at Appenninica MTB Stage Race is always special, for the athletes as much as for the stage venues. Making its debut in the 2023 edition, taking place from September 4th to 9th, Fiumalbo will host two days of the event, with the queen stage finish on Tuesday, September 5, and both start and finish of a loop stage three that will bring an historical first for the stage race in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines.
Fiumalbo, one of Italy’s most beautiful hamlets, nestled in the Modena Apennines, between the Cimone and Abetone Mounts areas, will welcome two finishes and two starts from September 5th to 7th.
On Tuesday, September 5, after a challenging 90 km route with 3200 meters of elevation gain, the Appenninica MTB Stage Race caravan will arrive in Fiumalbo directly from Castelnovo ne’ Monti. The Mountain Queen Stage represents the longest and most demanding stage of the entire week, with a route almost entirely above 1,500 meters of altitude. After passing the Bismantova Rock, athletes will climb toward the Cisa Pass, leading them into a very long trail in the Torricella area bike park in the Mount Cusna area. Following Febbio, they will ascend to Mount Giovarello’s summit before reaching Passo delle Radici and beginning their descent, touching on Pievepelago before arriving in Fiumalbo.
On the following day, Wednesday, September 6, a loop starting and finishing in Fiumalbo will mark a historic first for the Appenninica MTB Stage Race. Covering 79 kilometers with 2550 meters of total elevation gain, the Tuscany Incipit will take the athletes across the border into Tuscany at the foot of the Abetone Pass. Once back in Emilia-Romagna, they will tackle the climb of the Strada Ducale della Foce road. After Pievepelago, a second-long ascent to Sant’Anna Pelago will challenge the participants before a thrilling downhill trail leads them to the finish line, passing through the medieval village of Riolunato.
Fiumalbo will also host the start of stage 4 on Thursday, September 7, heading towards nearby Fanano. The Cimone Challenge, covering 62 kilometers with 3250 meters of elevation gain, will take place entirely within the Mount Cimone area, passing through Pian Cavallaro, Montecreto, Lake Ninfa, Sestola, and Passo Serre, with a double passage in Fanano.
Alessio Nizzi, Fiumalbo’s Mayor, expressed his excitement for this opportunity. “It is a real pleasure for our small village to be a venue for Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2023, a competition that is rising in stature in the international MTB world, year after year. This is going to be an outstanding showcase for our territory. I am sure Fiumalbo will be remembered by the participants not only for its natural beauty but for the hospitality and friendliness of its inhabitants.”
FIUMALBO – ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN ITALY
Awarded by the Touring Club with the “Orange Flag” for the quality of its tourism and environment, Fiumalbo is nestled among numerous nature trails and boasts a historic center rich in stone workings, low walls, houses, vaults, and sandstone roofs. Also known as the “Celtic Village,” the town has a historical connection with the Duchy of Modena, having faced several invasions by Celtic populations.
A notable tradition in Fiumalbo takes place every year on August 23 when the streets of downtown are illuminated with flashlights, lamps, torches, and candles for the procession of the statue of St. Bartholomew, accompanied by the ancient Confraternities of “dei Bianchi” and “dei Rossi.” This centuries-old tradition is dedicated to celebrating the town’s patron saint.