The Appenninica MTB stage race was one of the lucky ones in 2020. They had to postpone their event to September, but the new date ended up being a better date, avoiding some of the high temperatures that the Emilia Romagna region enjoys (or suffers?) in July. So here we are in 2021, and the dates for the 7 day race fall on 12-18 September.
With a start in Poretta Terme, the route traverses the Appenine Ridge and finishes in Castelnovo ne’ Monte, famous for the Bismantova Stone.
This is a solo only stage race, and limited to 150 riders. We think that stage races can create a unique bond between the riders who endure the challenge together, creating long friendships where memories are shared of tough days, and rewarding trails. And with a rider cap, the Appenninica MTB stage race will ensure that you’ll get to know your fellow riders.
The route has kept some favourites, while adding two new stage towns for this year. With over 450km to cover and 16000m to climb, the route looks set to challenge and reward. We’ve taken a look at the stage towns ahead of the route reveal in March. With Gordon Wadsworth racing the event for us in 2021, we passed the route in front of his moustache to get his take on what lies ahead.
The stage towns of Appenninica MTB 2021
Stage 1 – Porretta Soul (time trial)
Sunday, September 12th: Porretta Terme – Porretta Terme
“There’s nothing better than a good smash and thrash to set the pecking order and open the legs! They say Stage 1 coincides with the Poretta Soul Festival, spectators will definitely see some SOULS bared out in the short opener.”
Stage 2 – Il Corno
Monday, September 13th: Porretta Terme – Lizzano in Belvedere
“Stage 2 looks to have a similar opener to the prologue so it will be good to rev the engine on familiar terrain then settle in for a little longer burn. I’m hoping the climbing legs have shown up for stage two because they appear to be kicking things into gear in proper Appennine fashion starting on stage 2.”
Stage 3 – Gold Rush
Tuesday, September 14th: Lizzano in Belvedere – Fanano
“Stage two mixes WWII battlements with bike park fun. I’m confident we will be in all out racing war by stage 3! I’m amped to race among that history and cant wait for the GOLD rush into Cimone bike park.”
Stage 4 – Pippo Yeah!
Wednesday, September 15th: Fanano – Fanano
“Any stage that gets named for the trail builder is alright by me! I love good old fashioned raw singletrack and from the description of the Appennenica this may be the stage where riders can really get rad and put their skills between the wheels to the test.”
Stage 5 – High Mountain Queen
Thursday, September 16th: Fanano – Cerreto Laghi
“My engine is best suited to long stages and grudge matches. I also love a long traverse stage and from what the map shows the Queen Stage should play out beautifully for proper back country style racing!”
Stage 6 – Park & Roll
Friday, September 17th: Cerreto Laghi – Castelnovo ne’ Monti
“I’m actually kind of excited for this stage. Sometimes stages between Queen and finale can be just filler but Stage 6 is run entirely within a national park recognised by UNESCO for its biodiversity. I’m hopeful we get to rumble in the jungle one last day before we send it towards the finish line!”
Stage 7 – The Purgatory
Saturday, September 18th: Castelnovo ne’ Monti – Castelnovo ne’ Monti
“You say “Purgatory” I say “Paradise.” Or at least thats my best attempt at a Dante themed joke for day 7’s final stage.
The full course release is in March, but as it stands the stage plan mixes a bunch of Italian towns for a cultural experience alongside your social and sporting one. For more details, head to the event website, and stay tuned for further updates when the course is released.