Winebarger wins the 41st edition of the Road Apple Rally
FARMINGTON – For the second year in a row and the fourth time since 2015, Brent Winebarger leads the class at the annual Road Apple Rally, winning the men’s pro division open race and narrowly beating Todd Wells to take the Crown.
McKenzie Winebarger won the women’s event, which finished tenth overall and won her second women’s title in the event with a final time of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 55 seconds, more than five minutes ahead of the runner-up female Tamatha Risner and third place. Cat Kalweis paver.
The Road Apple Rally, in its 41st year, is America’s longest mountain bike race. There are separate events for short course races and long course races during the event.
Brent Winebarger, of Durango, completed the 30-mile run in the Glade Run recreation area at Lions Wilderness Park in a final time of 1 hour, 42 minutes and 27.77 seconds, just four tenths of a second ahead of Wells, himself. even five-time winner of the event.
The first pair were just ahead of third and fourth place finishers Guy Leshem and Rotem Ishay, who were also separated by less than a second from each other at the end of the grueling race.
Longtime Four Corners resident Winebarger, 44, has been cycling professionally and recreationally since he was a child. Hailing from Riverside, California, Winebarger has competed across the country, primarily in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Young and old compete on a short course
In the short version of the Road Apple Rally, Farmington’s Mike Ziems topped Johan Souders, 13, and Seth Chavez, 16. Ziems completed the 15 mile race in 56 minutes and 58 seconds, almost 90 seconds ahead of Souders and Chavez.
Ziems, 37, who was only making his second start in the Road Apple Rally event, said the best part of the short course event was the diversity of age groups taking part in the 15-mile challenge.
“You can see riders of all ages in the short course,” Ziems said. “The kids are the real test because to see them progress and surpass some adults is really impressive.”
Hans Martin, 17, won the Category 2 long course race with a final time of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 22 seconds, while Randy Flores, 50, finished first in the long course race Category 1 with a final time of 1 hour, 49 minutes and 4 seconds.
The crowd makes the difference
Over 250 runners took part in the short and long distance races held at Lions Wilderness Park. Last year, the event was held in virtual format due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions. The runners competed individually and recorded their times on mobile applications.
“Having people from all over the community on the course cheering you on makes a huge difference,” Ziems said. “Having more riders on the course was also a challenge that made the event a great day, and this is in large part due to the greater number of people who chose mountain biking during the time that there was no not much to do last year. “
The course for the 15 and 30 mile races was hit by rain earlier in the week, which presented a different challenge for many runners.
Michael Sullivan of Farmington, who finished 56th overall out of 97 short course participants, and who has competed in the Road Apple Rally every year since 1984, said there were pros and cons to the return of a real racing competition.
“Overall the course was in great condition. The rains made some of the sandier areas more passable,” said Sullivan. “It’s good to have the competition with you to have the inspiration to perform. But you also have a lot of stuck runners and other traffic issues to deal with.”
For the full results of the 2021 Apple Road Rally, visit www.bikesignup.com.
Steve Bortstein can be reached by email at [email protected], via Twitter @DTSBortstein or by phone at (505) 635-2680