Sport on Elba Becomes Legendary with the Legend Cup

An unprecedented international success, a race born for the sake of sport transformed into a competition event featuring around two thousand athletes from all over the world. A journey between the sky and the sea, on the trails of lush Mediterranean chaparral, where one’s gaze is lost in the marvelous panorama of the Tuscan Archipelago.

This is the Capoliveri Legend Cup. Not a mere sports competition, but a true event for thousands of mountain bike lovers who gather on the island of Elba in the month of May, when the island is at its most beautiful and lush with its bewitching colors, to grapple with the difficult, yet fascinating Mount Calamita challenge.

The Legend Cup is truly a ‘legendary race’, as it is defined by US champion and world mountain bike icon Ned Overend, winner in 1994 against John Tomac (another milestone of MTB) of the Mountain Bike World Cup on Mount Calamita.

The event was so bright in the international spotlight that, five years after that run, the Tecno MTB monthly magazine talked about it in an article, defining it as one of the three most beautiful races of the millennium that was about to conclude. It was 1999.

Capoliveri has not forgotten those days, those thrills, the great clamor about that World Cup race in national and international press, and the return of image to the world of sport that came with it for the small Elban village perched on the hills of iron.

The enthusiasm was such that, a few years later, the idea was born to create the “Capoliveri Bike Park” in Capoliveri, a place on the promontory of Mount Calamita made of paths for hikers and mountain bikers that could offer opportunities for all sports enthusiasts to live their passion, immersed in the beauty of the territory of the island of Elba.

The Capoliveri Bike Park, inaugurated in 2010, became a benchmark for all the island’s sportsmen and for the thousands of tourists, outdoor enthusiasts, Italians and foreigners who come to Elba each year.

At the same time, the Capoliveri Bike Park Association was founded to promote its realization and, thanks to the enthusiasm of its many members and the indispensable support of the community of Capoliveri, it was able to bring back to the region the important competitions of this sector.

“The early years,” explains Maurizio Melis, president of the Capoliveri Bike Park Association, “were years of trial. The Legend Cup had about 500 members and we were in the Tuscan Cup circuit. The athletes came mainly from our region and other Italian cities. We weren’t satisfied though, because we wanted to do more! Our goal was to see the “Capoliveri Bike Park” and the Legend Cup grow. We wanted to return to the splendor of 1994. So, we decided to change course.”

“In 2013, inspired by that legendary World Cup race,” continues Melis, “we thought about working to bring a national competition to Capolivei and, having obtained the patronage of the Italian Cycling Federation, were able to transform the Capoliveri Legend Cup into an national race.”

“In 2016, thanks to the great success achieved, we entered the UCI International Circuit (International Cycling Union), which gave new impetus to the race, increasing the numbers to a maximum. In the most recent edition of May 2017, members reached 1,700.”

“It was a great satisfaction for us and for all of Capoliveri.”

The Capoliveri Legend Cup today, in addition to the 1,700 members of the competition, involves about 3,000 people for three consecutive days and the collaboration of 200 volunteers to organize, serve an approximate 2,000 meals, supervise, assist, and to restore the village to its normal routine at the end of the race.

“We are excited,” underlines Maurizio Melis, “about what we were able to do in just a few years. Today, Capoliveri is not only an international tourist destination, but a place of worship for sports enthusiasts and Mountain Bike athletes from all over the world. Champions like Periklis, Lakata, Tomac, Overend, and Hynec, just to name a few, have passed through here. Athletes arrive from the United States, Germany, Austria, Colombia, Russia, and from all over the rest of the world. Names that have gone down in history have made Capoliveri a legendary place for this two-wheeled sport. That is why our race could only be a true Legend Cup!”

Bike Park

The Capoliveri Bike Park consists of five permanent trails of varying difficulty and length. It develops for more than 100 km (62 miles) of trails and spectacular and interchangeable roads. Each path is identified by a color and marked on the territory by specific signs indicating the name of the route, the direction to follow, a number referring to the point where the signal is placed so that it can be located on the map and the name of the place where it is located.

Useful Tips

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Inform yourself about the chosen route and its surroundings.
  • Be objective in the judgment of your level of physical training before you begin your chosen trail.
  • Always inform someone about which trail you choose to take.
  • Always use maximum caution; moderate your speed downhill and on curves.
  • Trails are also suitable for trekking, so be aware of persons on foot.
  • Bring an adequate water and supplement supply.
  • Wear suitable clothing for the season.
  • Check the condition of your bicycle before departure and bring along necessary tools for the most common of repairs.
  • Always respect nature.
  • Do not throw trash on the roads or trails.
  • Avoid walking or cycling on unmarked trails or roads and do not enter ruins.


Elba: l’isola per lo sport, il relax, l’avventura ed il benessere