Video: The Final Two Stages of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2020

Oct 4, 2020
by Appenninica MTB Stage Race  
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Rain and heavy soil characterized the stage won by the GC leader, who raised his arms at the Giarola Court (Collecchio) and is now a few kilometers away from the overall victory. Joseph De Poortere was second and Lorenzo Samparisi third

Faces twisted and covered in mud in the patio of the Giarola Court. The sixth stage of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, held on Friday, October 2nd, showed looks of fatigue and emotion along the 93 km of race, from Castelnovo ne’ Monti to the Giarola Court in Collecchio. A cloudburst crashed on the race, especially in the second part, making the course treacherous and forcing athletes to deal with muddy terrain, deep and dense.

The weather conditions of the race might have changed, not so much the outcome: GC leader Hans Becking confirmed to be the strongest this week on the Emilian Apennines. French Joseph De Poortere (Velo Club Reanois) finished second, 5’55” far from the DMT Racing Team rider, while Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama) was third at 6’21”. European Champion Tiago Ferreira (DMT Racing Team) struggled in the mud and finished eighth at 19’20”.

Early on, the script seemed to be the same of the past days, with Becking and Ferreira pacing away, chased by the rest of the field. When the terrain got heavier, though, their action lost efficiency, and Samparisi, De Poortere, Rob Van der Werf (Twe Het Snelle Viat) and Federico Mandelli (Piraz Coaching) managed to closed the gap.

Just before entering the Taro River valley, a stretch of about 1500 meters with particularly dense mud put the riders into trouble: Becking displayed cyclo-cross skills to tame it and make the difference on his rivals, flying towards the third stage success. Behind, Ferreira was caught in struggles and lost touch with the rest. After the leader, the Giarola Court welcomed the mud masks of De Poortere, Samparisi, Van der Werf and Mandelli, with Ferreira slipped even further back to the eighth position.

bigquotes“I had never raced under these conditions – Becking explained -. In some muddy stretches you just couldn’t go ahead, it was too deep and the wheels were stuck. In the end, it was fun. Unfortunately, Tiago instead got stuck and lost a lot of time”.

bigquotesSamparisi, a cyclo-cross rider during the winter, has some regrets: “If I had fitted smaller tires, I could have gained a lot of time and move closer in the GC, instead I got stuck could not follow Becking. I also did a few kilometers with the bike on my shoulder, and at this point, if tomorrow we find similar conditions, the final stage might be more than a formality”.

Becking has further consolidated his lead and is now a few kilometers away from the final success: Ferreira is 23’58” far from his teammate and Samparisi 31’10”.

during Stage 6 of the 2020 Appenninica MTB from Castelnovo to Collecchio Emilia Romagna Italy on 2 October 2020. Photo by Marius Holler. PLEASE ENSURE THE APPROPRIATE CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER.


Esther Süss is one victory away from the full loot of stages in this edition of Appenninica. The former World Champion also won the sixth stage, in spite of the heavy terrain. Exhausted, the Swiss once again preceded Gaia Ravaioli and the former Olympic Regina Marunde.

bigquotes“The mud made this stage very hard. I had never found so much in an MTB race – Esther admitted. – I had to stop more than once to try to unblock the wheels with some branches. Surely it was not my ideal soil, but at least I can say that I really saw everything and won on various terrain here at Appenninica”.

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A loop course around the Giarola Court brought Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race to an end. Hans Becking won the Men’s event ahead of teammate Tiago Ferreira and Lorenzo Samparisi in third, with Dutchman Rob Van der Werf claiming the final stage ahead of Joseph De Poortere. Esther Süss completed her perfect week in the Women’s race

He tamed the Emilian Apennine’s trickiest trails, ruled over the ridges, and even cruised in the heavy mud. On Saturday, October 3rd, Hans Becking conquered the second edition of Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race, at the end of a week in which he proved the clear strongest among participants from all over Europe. The DMT Racing Team Dutchman saw off his fellow teammate, XCM European Champion Tiago Ferreira, and Lorenzo Samparisi (KTM Alchemist Dama).

Becking also claimed three stages in this Appenninica’s edition, in Porretta Terme, in Castelnovo ne’ Monti’s Queen Stage, and in Collecchio, leaving his closest rival over 20 minutes behind.

bigquotes“I am proud to add this race to my list of achievements,” Becking said. “I had so much fun. I found courses for real bikers, beautiful and technical. And what about the sights? Amazing. It was my first time in the Apennines; it won’t be the last.”

The 34-year-old Dutchman also seized the familiar atmosphere at Appenninica.
bigquotes“Big credit goes to the event’s staff, as people don’t realize how much effort there is behind such an event. I was able to realize it in full this week, and I wish to thank all the people of the staff.”

His teammate Ferreira echoed his feelings: after taking part in the biggest stage races in the World, he discovered the Apennine as a new frontier, a territory born for mountain biking:
bigquotes“It was real mountain biking every day here at Appenninica. We had no chance to get bored for a minute. It was a good experience, both the race and the typical Italian atmosphere that has welcomed us.”
The Portuguese will now turn his attention to the XCM World Championships in Turkey in late October.

Samparisi stepped on the lowest step of the podium, after battling with the DMT Racing Team duo throughout the week:
bigquotes“I am very satisfied. I won a stage and was in contention in every other one. To be on this podium along with champions like Becking and Ferreira makes me proud.”

The final stage, a fast 32 km course inside the Carrega Woods, Collecchio, was won by Rob Van der Werf (Twe Het Snelle Viat). The Dutchman edged Frenchman Joseph De Poortere (Rockrider Decathlon) with Ferreira and Becking, in third and fourth place, respectively.

bigquotes“There was no better way to clinch this experience – Van der Werf said -. I did not expect to win, but a short and fast course like this was perfectly suited for my characteristics. I will return home knowing to have discovered a new MTB heaven. I will be back here, for sure.”


Esther Süss could hardly ask for more to this Appenninica: seven stage wins in seven stages. Even on a short and fast course like the one in the Carrega Woods, while preferring longer and more intense stages, the former XCM World Champion managed to beat all her rivals.

bigquotes“I am happy to have won this final stage, the least suited to my characteristics,” the Swiss said. “I beat many younger athletes, which means my condition is very good. What did I like about the race? Everything! The trails, the sights, but also the human touch of the organizational team. I hope to be back soon.”

Italian Gaia Ravaioli (KTM Alchemist Dama) closed in second place, surrendering only to the strongest of rivals.
bigquotes“It was my first time in a stage race, and I learned a lot. I hope more and more participants can come to this race, also to reward the effort of these brave organizers that gave us a chance to race, even in this challenging year.”


The second time of Appenninica came to a close in the Giarola Court, in Collecchio, with the awarding ceremonies and the final dinner with the World-famous tastes of Emilia-Romagna, starting with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Crowning the 2020 Appenninica winners were the Mountain Assessor of Emilia Romagna, Barbara Lori, the Parco dei Ducati President Agostino Maggiali, the majors of three hosting towns – Maristella Galli for Collecchio, Enrico Bini for Castelnovo ne’ Monti and Stefano Muzzarelli for Fanano, and the President of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium Nicola Bertinelli.

Only six months ago, organizing a sports event like Appenninica seemed impossible. The organizing committee led by Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno opted to hold on and move the event from Summer to Fall: a daring choice, but one that definitely paid off.

bigquotes“In a year like this, organizing the event was a major feat in itself – the organizers explained. “We have had plenty of great feedback, and that makes us proud. Appenninica’s mission is to share our passion for MTB and promote our territory, the Emilia’s Appennine, still unknown and unexplored by most bikers. We believe that our mountains have won the heart of all our participants, giving us confidence for the future and making us more ambitious for the future. We wish to thank the whole Appenninica staff, whose huge effort over long months helped us to achieve this remarkable goal.”

1 Comment

  • 1 0
 one day i have to partecipate to a race like this, even better if it's 2 hours drive from my huose!

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