7 Reasons to Join EMCC – European Media Cycling Championship

Are you a journalist, blogger, influencer, or any other kind of media professional specialized/interested in cycling? Then read on – here are 7 reasons to join EMCC, the European Media Cycling Championship!

Cycling journalists already have plenty of appointments on their calendar. From spring classics, to Grand Tours throughout the summer, cyclocross in winter, and up-and-coming stage races like the Tour of Guangxi and Tour Down Under, there’s enough to keep busy year-round. 

We’re here to convince you to make space for another, unique cycling event, held in mid-September in Emilia-Romagna – EMCC, short for European Media Cycling Championship. So, what’s it all about?

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The EMCC – European Media Cycling Championship group in San Marino

What is EMCC – European Media Cycling Championship?

EMCC is a three-day event started in 2022 by three cycling lovers and comms professionals, Andrea Manusia, Roberto Feroli, and Nicholas Montemaggi, together with Emilia-Romagna Tourism, the host destination, with the aim of bringing together cycling media from all over Europe. 

The event usually takes place in mid-September and coincides with the Italian Bike Festivalparticipating media get priority access, and have the opportunity to explore the exhibition with few other people around. 

The program of the whole event varies year by year, but besides a day at the Italian Bike Festival, you may expect another day spent cycling along the hills of Emilia-Romagna, meetings with cycling VIPs (the special guest in 2023 was none other than the great Bernard Hinault!) and a race of some sort… after all, EMCC stands for European Media Cycling Championship!

Now, let’s have a look at 7 very good reasons to participate in next year’s edition of EMCC – European Media Cycling Championship! Dates and exact program are still TBC, make sure you check the official EMCC website for info on the event!

emcc new tour de france jersey
The 2024 Tour de France Jersey

Reasons to Come to EMCC

1) Meet Fellow Cycling Lovers

Well, that goes without saying! One of the main reasons to visit EMCC is to meet like-minded bike lovers. If you’re a long-time cycling media professional, you’ll probably already know some of the people participating – in this case, EMCC becomes a great opportunity to see old friends!

For ‘new’ cycling lovers such as ourselves, EMCC is a place where you can eat, talk, and breathe cycling for 3 days. You know how your friends roll their eyes whenever you start going on about Tour de France stages, Pogi’s new Colnago C68, or the newest cycling shorts? At EMCC, you’ll be surrounded by people who ‘get it’. 

And this leads nicely onto point #2!

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Introducing myself to cycling media at EMCC launch party

2) Make Connections

EMCC only welcomes about 25/30 cycling media each year, so it’s an invaluable opportunity to make meaningful connections with colleagues. Are you a freelance journalist looking for extra work? You’ll meet editors from major cycling magazines. Would you like to interview a cyclist? You might meet someone who can introduce you to them. 

And there’s more! At the Italian Bike Festival you won’t just meet cycling media professionals, but also tour operators specialized in cycling holidays, organizers of Gran Fondo and other bike races, and representatives for bicycle and cycling apparel brands. If you’re an influencer looking for sponsors, or for brands to collaborate with, this is a great opportunity!

3) Visit the Italian Bike Festival

EMCC takes place in mid-September to give media the opportunity to visit the Italian Bike Festival, the main event in Italy dedicated to the cycling world. 

You’ll be able to visit before it opens for the general public, get access to the media centre, and get the opportunity to participate in press conferences. In 2023, we were invited to join the press conference to present the new Bianchi aero bike, and the one introducing the 2024 Tour de France Grand Depart in Emilia-Romagna. 

The afternoon is free for you to explore the Italian Bike Festival at will. That means you can also test-ride the newest bicycle models, which is great if you plan to buy a new bike! Make sure you reserve a timeslot upfront if you wish to do so, and don’t forget your helmet and bike shoes!

You can also visit stands of the main cycling clothing brands, cycling accessories, supplements, pretty much anything that has to do with cycling. You’ll also go home with lots of swag and discount codes for online shopping!

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The Emilia-Romagna stand at Italian Bike Festival

4) Ride Around Emilia-Romagna 

One day at EMCC is all dedicated to riding along the roads of Emilia-Romagna, a true cyclist’s paradise with its combination of hills and coastal itineraries.

During the 2023 edition, participating media had the chance to spend a day riding one of the stages of the 2024 Tour de France, accompanied by Bernard Hinault and a team of local guides. From Cesenatico, we rode up a few hills and finally climbed Monte Titano to reach San Marino, before descending at breakneck speed (well… some of us!)

This is just one of many bike itineraries available in the Cesenatico/Rimini hinterland – there’s also the climb to San Leo, one of the best small towns in Emilia-Romagna, the fearsome Barbotto climb featured in the Nove Colli Granfondo, Carpegna where the great Marco Pantani used to train, and many more.

Joining EMCC will give you the chance to ride along these wonderful itineraries, in the company of fellow cycling lovers. The itinerary for 2024 hasn’t yet been defined, but you can be sure it will be fun!

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On the EMCC group ride

5) Enjoy Emilia-Romagna Cuisine

Emilia-Romagna means one thing – wonderful food! From tagliatelle al ragù, to piadina stuffed with the most delectable creamy cheeses and cured meats, tasty ravioli, and yummy desserts, you can be sure you’ll be well-fed during your time at EMCC!

If you can, we warmly recommend extending your stay to explore Emilia-Romagna independently before or after EMCC. Whether you opt for two days in Bologna, or decide to cycle offbeat itineraries like the San Vicinio Cycleway or Dante’s Way, you’ll find wonderful food anywhere you go. 

6) Stay in a Bike Hotel

As travelling cyclists, we’re well aware of how hard it is to find bike-friendly hotels. All participants in the European Media Cycling Championship are hosted in excellent bike hotels – in 2023, we stayed at Lungomare Bike Hotel, planned with cyclists in mind. 

At Lungomare, there’s no need to lug your bicycle up endless flights of stairs! You can leave it in the video-monitored bike room, complete with a workshop for small repairs and a bike washing station. There’s also plenty of room if you want to take your bike apart to pack it in a box, if you need to fly. 

Meals at Lungomare Bike Hotel are perfect to replenish your energy before or after a big ride. At breakfast, you can choose from a buffet full of sweet and savoury options, so you’ll be covered regardless of whether you’re an egg and bacon sort of person, or prefer something lighter. Do you want pasta or plain rice for some good carb load? You can also ask for those!

Lungomare Bike Hotel also has a pool, long enough to swim laps, and a wellness area with a hot tub. They also offer guided tours every day with bike guides – some of them are former pro cyclists! And if you need to rent a bike, they have a fleet of Pinarello Dogma!

lungomare bike hotel tour de france 2024
The group in front of Lungomare Bike Hotel

7) Compete in the Championship!

Last but not least, another great reason to come to EMCC is the final competition! Remember the last C in EMCC stands for Championship, so there has to be some kind of competition involved.

In true cycling style, there’s a rotation between different race formats – participants in the 2022 edition joined La Gialla, a  Granfondo departing from the same circuit where the Italian bike festival was held, and in 2023 we took part in a time trial in the new Fausto Coppi circuit in Cesenatico. I got the silver medal, just behind Giulia De Maio from Tuttobici – rematch next year?

We don’t yet know the plan for 2024, but some say it may involve a mountain-time trial!

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EMCC decorations by the super talented Jess from The Crafty Balloon

How to Apply to be part of EMCC

For any information regarding EMCC, the exact dates, and program for 2024, we recommend checking the official event website.

As soon as they open, you can submit your application through the EMCC website. Remember the event is for cycling media, including bloggers, influencers, and content creators, so you’ll need to have a good following on social media and a focus on cycling.

It’s also necessary to be fit – the group ride measures approx 100 km, but you can definitely take an electric bike or cut the ride short if needed. However, electric bikes are not allowed for the competition part of EMCC. 

To sum up, we loved our experience at EMCC 2023 and really hope to be able to visit again in 2024! If you’re a cycling media professional, definitely consider visiting in 2024, and feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions about our experience!

This article was written following our participation in EMCC, the European Media Cycling Championship dedicated to the Tour de France 2024 Grand Départ.