Hi Pedigree Stage Stop Race Fans,
Taco Night! We had a wonderful meal last night at the Kemmerer South Lincoln Training and Event Center. Once again the the fastest team will receive a beautiful fish fossil trophy for winning the 5th Stage. I was ( half ) joking with Anny Malo, that she better ” gets a move on “. In total Anny is trailing Remy Coste now by 5 Minutes.
Looking at the split times from yesterday, Remy is leaving hard and fast out of the gate, with once again running near 18mph for the first 8.2 Miles. With that strategy he had caught up to both Cathy and Anny by the 9.2 Mile mark, where I was waiting to take some video and pictures. From that point on, Remy’ kept on staying on Anny’s heels, having already made up 3 minutes of time, and he did so despite loading and from what I could tell even rotating dogs in out of the bag. Only during the last Split, the final 8.2 Miles, did he run slower than Anny, and gave some of that gained time back.
Todays stage is going to be one of the shortest with 27 Miles and also one of the flattest Stages. It is more rolling hills at the beginning, but no substantial climbs, as some of the past stages, like Lander have seen. That definitely play’s into the cards for Remy’s fast team.
The race for 3rd is also far from over. Laura Bontrager and Cathy Rivest are only separated by 1 Minute and 14 seconds after 4 days of racing. Cathy has been 3rd twice, in both races she ran. I am sure she wants that position back. Laura Bontrager was 4th last year, she is definitely looking to improve. Jess Moore is a bit more than 5 minutes behind those 2 strong teams, and much of that time she gave up yesterday, with not having the cleanest of runs.
From the trail report it sounds like that this Stage is once again hard and fast, with melting temperatures in the daytime and hard freeze at night, coupled with a low snow cover. Having strong leaders is going to be key in this stage, as there are traditionally a lot of snowmachine tracks on the trail. The trail being a big open wide road. A team which is trying to hug one side of the trail, lets say the right side, could easily get off trail, and hooking down is not going to be easy in the hardpack. Knowing it is fast going, I can see a few teams opting to run smaller teams, as the team is only as fast as their slowest dog… and speed will be of more importance than uphill pulling power.
Notably yesterday the Top 9 Teams ran in the 15 mph range on the last 8.2 Miles to the finishing line. Fast teams on a very fast trail. The race Start today is back to 9 a.m. with cooler temperatures.