From Castelnovo to Vidiciatico, Appenninica 2023 promises thrills and spills


Organizers have unveiled the route for the 2023 Appenninica MTB Stage Race, scheduled for September 4-9, which features six stages measuring 400 km and 14 thousand meters of elevation gain.

In addition to Castelnovo ne' Monti and Vidiciatico, stage venues include Fanano and the new Fiumalbo.

Riders will have to conquer 400 kilometres and 14,000 meters of climbing over the course of six stages to earn the finisher's medal of the 2023 edition, scheduled for Sept. 4-9, 2023. The Emilia-Romagna Apennines will be the judges of an epic challenge among enchanted landscapes, Apennine ridges, and beautiful Italian towns.

Same as last year, the stage race will start from Castelnovo ne' Monti, in the shadow of the Pietra di Bismantova. Returning stage venues include Fanano, a historic passage in the Appenninica MTB Stage Race and Vidiciatico, a hamlet in Lizzano in Belvedere that will host the grand finale, same as it did in 2022. New for 2023 is Fiumalbo, a historic village in the Modena Apennines located on the border with Tuscany.

“The new format allows us to spread out the challenges better than in years past. The Queen Stage, scheduled for the second day, is slightly shorter and less challenging than before, but the following two days will compel racers to manage their efforts. The result is a demanding middle part of the race, with 400 kms and 14 thousand meters of total elevation gain,” explained Milena Bettocchi and Beppe Salerno, co-organizers of the Appenninica MTB Stage Race.


The start is set for Monday, September 4, from Castelnovo ne' Monti with 56 km and 1,800 meters of climbing beginning at the foot of the Pietra di Bismantova and traversing the lands of Matilda di Canossa. Compared to 2022, the La Matildica route has been further improved, with alternating climbs and descents that aren’t long, but they are challenging.

With practically no time to settle into race mode on Tuesday, September 5, it’s already time to take on the Mountain Queen Stage. Compared to past editions, the stage is shorter (89 km) but no less challenging with 3200 meters of climbing before reaching the finish line in Fiumalbo.

No time to rest because on Wednesday, September 6, a loop around Fiumalbo will again put racers under pressure. The Tuscany "Incipit" is the newest development for the 2023 edition, with a gradual advance into Tuscany inside the Abetone ski area, 79 km long with 2700 meters of climbing.

Monte Cimone is the big star in the fourth stage on Thursday, Sept. 7, from Fiumalbo to Fanano. There will be three climbs that day along the 57-kilometer route of the Cimone Challenge with 2300 meters of climbing to test the athletes’ legs once again.

For those who like the Appenninica MTB Stage Race's approach to mountain biking, the stage slated for Friday, September 8, from Fanano to Vidiciatico will be the perfect manifesto. Appenninica Distilled with its 54 km and 2,500 meters of climbing is a combination of everything the Italian stage race has to offer: long and rideable climbs, technical descents, and wonderful views.

The grand finale is booked for Saturday, September 9 on the Monte Pizzo, with start and finish in Vidiciatico, a hamlet in the municipality of Lizzano in Belvedere. Same as last year, the technical 37 kilometres with 1750 meters of climbing will declare the final verdict.


After the tremendous success of the Early Bird registration phase, which sold out in just 15 days, it’s now possible to register in the "Regular Registration" phase until May 31, 2023. Same as in the last four editions, organizers have confirmed the solo format and have limited entries to a maximum of 150 participants to avoid overcrowding on the trails and to ensure a high standard of quality in providing support to all participants.


Stage 1 - La Matildica - 56 km and 1800 m of elevation gain
Monday, September 4: Castelnovo ne' Monti - Castelnovo ne' Monti

Stage 2 - Mountain Queen - 89 km and 3200 m of elevation gain
Tuesday, September 5: Castelnovo ne' Monti - Fiumalbo

Stage 3 - Tuscany "Incipit" - 79 km and 2700 m of elevation gain
Wednesday, September 6: Fiumalbo - Fiumalbo

Stage 4 - Cimone Challenge - 57 km and 2300 m of elevation gain
Thursday, September 7: Fiumalbo - Fanano

Stage 5 - Appenninica Distilled - 54 km and 2500 m of elevation gain
Friday, September 8: Fanano - Vidiciatico

Stage 6 - Monte Pizzo - 37 km and 1750 m of elevation gain
Saturday, September 9: Vidiciatico - Vidiciatico

Porretta Terme (Italy), February 15, 2023