Winebarger wins third straight Road Apple Rally

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − For the third straight year, Durango native Brent Winebarger proved best in Saturday's professional open Road Apple Rally, claiming his fifth title in one of the most prestigious mountain bike races in America.

Winebarger completed the 30-mile race in the Glade Run Recreation Area of Lions Wilderness Park in a final time of 1 hour, 39 minutes and 40.96 seconds, bettering his final time in the event from last year while edging Rotem Ishay by a shade less than two seconds.

The 45-year-old Winebarger is a longtime resident of the Four Corners who has been biking professionally and recreationally since he was a child. Originally from Riverside, Calif., Winebarger has competed across the country, primarily in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.

Winebarger and Ishay finished the professional open race nearly a minute ahead of third-place finisher Ivan Sippy, who finished just ahead of Todd Wells, who has won the race five times, most recently in 2019.

Winebarger also won the event in 2018, and before that in 2015. The event was held virtually in 2020, with riders taking to the course individually and using mobile apps and GPS devices to record and submit results.

Todd Wells (287), Ivan Sippy (285) and Guy Leshem (275) lead the field uphill during the professional division open race of the Road Apple Rally, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 at Lions Wilderness Park.

Natalie Quinn was the fastest women's cyclist in the professional event, finishing 17th overall with a final time of just a bit more than 1 hour, 50 minutes and 29 seconds, nearly two and a half minutes ahead of Michaela Thompson, who finished 19th overall.

The Road Apple Rally, in its 42nd year, is the longest continuously run mountain bike race in America, featuring separate events for short course and long-course races.

In the short course version of the Road Apple Rally, a trio of teenagers dominated the race, with 15-year-old Marcus Boucher crossing the finish line ahead of 15-year-old Jaden Eagleman. Third-place finisher Ryder Seitz was one of the youngest riders in the event at the age of 13.

The short course event is a 15-mile race, and Boucher completed the course in 54 minutes, 59.83 seconds, nearly 40 seconds ahead of Eagleman who claimed the second spot by more than 90 seconds.

Farmington's Ned Merrion took home the first place trophy in the Category 2 long course event, nearly seven minutes ahead of Shawn Hall. Merrion completed the course in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 35.52 seconds.

For complete results of the Road Apple Rally, check out the official race results page at bikesignup.com.