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Hans Becking returns to Appenninica in search of the hat trick

The first athlete to win two editions of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race in the Elite Men category, the Dutchman and reigning BUFF-Megamo champion is aiming for a hat trick from 2 to 7 September 2024. “It's a race that has entered my heart”, the words of Becking.

Hans Becking announced his presence at Appenninica MTB Stage Race 2024 (Credits: The Outdoor Lab)

Appenninica MTB Stage Race has only existed for a few years, yet it has already happened to many: you choose to come the first time out of curiosity, for challenge, to discover something new, and you end up no longer being able to do without it. Imagine who, in 2023, became the first athlete to write his name twice in the male Elite roll of honor of the most important Italian MTB stage race.

Source: press release

The first official contender for success in the 2024 edition, from 2 to 7 September, therefore has a well-known name in these parts: the reigning champion Hans Becking. The Dutchman from BUFF-Megamo is currently preparing his adventure at the Cape Epic, where he will compete with Wout Alleman, but among his season's objectives he has also put a hat trick on the Apennines of Emilia-Romagna. Before the last edition, Becking had established himself in 2020, in both cases ahead of former Marathon World Champion Tiago Ferreira.

“I am happy to announce that this year too I will be at the start of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race – the words of the 37 year old Dutchman -. It is a race that has entered my heart where there is a very familiar atmosphere. I can't wait to be competing again this year."

The BUFF-Megamo rider has just finished second in the Andalucia Bike Race paired with the European Champion Wout Alleman. Becking is, not surprisingly, considered one of the strongest athletes in the world in mountain bike stage races and on the paths of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines he immediately found a great feeling, so much so that he achieved the final ranking in both editions in which he participated.

“I participated in Appenninica on two occasions and I am very proud to have managed to win in both cases – Becking's words -. But I would be very happy if this year too many strong athletes were able to give me a hard time. This race deserves an absolute level of participation, and I hope to experience a very high profile challenge.”

The Dutchman won the mountain bike stage race in 2020 and 2023 (Credits: The Outdoor Lab);

While waiting to know the names of his opponents, Becking can aim to obtain a new record in the history of the race, becoming the first athlete ever to win three editions, even surpassing Naima Diesner, who has two successes like him.

“For me, Appenninica arrives in the middle of the season, in a period full of pressure, and taking part in it means living a week in contact with the essence of mountain biking – says the Dutchman -. Then it is positioned a few weeks before the World Championship and the routes are a perfect mix to refine your preparation, with challenging climbs, very technical trails and the splendid landscapes of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines”.

Among the elements that won Becking over there is also the atmosphere outside the race. The Emilia-Romagna welcome and the family atmosphere make Appenninica MTB Stage Race a perfect environment in which to live a challenging experience of 400 km and 14 thousand meters of overall altitude difference.

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

Hans Becking beat Tiago Ferreira in 2023 (Credits: The Outdoor Lab)

HOW TO REGISTER

Registrations are open in the "Regular Registration" phase until 31 May 2024. As for the last five editions, the organizers have confirmed the individual formula and the limited number of participants to a maximum of 150 participants: a choice aimed at avoiding overcrowding of the paths and to ensure a high quality standard of running support for all participants.

THE PATH

Stage 1 – Via degli Dei – 48 km and 1500 m of altitude difference

Monday 2 September: Bologna – Loiano

Stage 2 – The Gothic Line – 63 km and 2250 m of altitude difference

Tuesday 3 September: Loiano – Lizzano in Belvedere

Stage 3 – Monte Cimone Challenge XL – 65 km and 2850 m of altitude difference

Wednesday 4 September: Lizzano in Belvedere – Fiumalbo

Stage 4 – Tuscan Borderline – 69 km and 2500 m of altitude difference

Thursday 5 September: Fiumalbo – Fiumalbo

Stage 5 – Mountain Queen Stage – 95 km and 3200 m of altitude difference

Friday 6 September: Fiumalbo – Castelnovo ne' Monti

Stage 6 – Windy Way Home – 56 km and 1750 m of altitude difference

Saturday 7 September: Castelnovo ne 'Monti - Castelnovo ne' Monti



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