Hello Pedigree Stage Stop Race Fans,
Stage 3 in Pinedale is in the books. Remy Coste put in another stellar run with 8 dogs. The same 8 dogs which propelled him in 1st place in the Blackrock Stage 1, were once again the fastest team on the trail in Stage 3. That is pretty impressive, considering that he is running 2 dogs less than his closest competitor on a 35 mile long stage. Remy gained 1 minute and 7 seconds over Anny Malo. His overall lead after 3 days of racing sits at 3 minutes and 19 seconds. I do not know if I would call that a comfortable lead, specially over a 5 Time Champion. It is the first time that these 2 French speaking Mushers are competing against each other. While Anny has been dominating the Pedigree Stage Stop Race for the past 5 years, so has Remy dominated La Grande Odysee in France. A race similar in setup, yet with much shorter stages.
From watching both teams on the trail, Remy is definitely physically and verbally driving his team hard. Pretty much every time I see him on the trail, he is pedaling hard. Anny is far from taking it easy, yet at times I see her ” just letting her dogs do their thing “, without verbally driving them. 4 more days of racing is ahead of us and with as close as these 2 teams are driving, it is bound to remain exiting.
Cathy Rivest is back in 3rd place overall, ahead by 2minutes and 40 seconds over 4th place team of Laura Bontrager. Laura came in 5th in todays Pinedale Stage, whereas Jess Moore put in her best performance so far, with 4th place, only 8 seconds behind Cathy for the day, which moved her into the Top 5 overall.
Rachel Courtney 6th for the day and Sarah Tarlton 7th for the day are were only separated by 47 seconds, Austin Forney a bit more than a minute behind that in 8th place for the day. Austin ran a full string of 12 dogs, which means he likely has 4 fresh dogs for tomorrows stage.
Charlie Connor who ran up a storm in them hills today, has is best yet performance here with a 9th place for the day. For German Musher Michael Tetzner, who also ran a full team of 12, this Pinedale Stage did not go as well as he had hoped. Some issues with his sled banner getting wrapped underneath his runners did not help, neither did carrying a dog. He managed to round out the Top 10 for the day, but dropped 3 places overall from 3rd to 6th. Time will tell if and how he can bounce back towards the Top 5, as getting into the Top 5 in this highly competitive race is a tall order.
JR Anderson, Mike Bestgen and Donny Poulin all ran within 2 minutes of each other for 11th to 13th place, with their average speed still being above 13 mph.
Tim Thiessen and Chris Adkins are rounding out the field with a mid 11mph average run speed. From the looks of it, it was Chris Adkins who will get the beautiful handmade knife which Assistant Timer ( and Pinedale Chair Person ) Randy Williams presented this morning, and Chris will leave the starting chute first, at 8.30 a.m..