There are no official times for last night as this is a double stage but it was 58km and super fast. Less than 3 hours.
In a surprising but pleasing twist of events Jimmy Pettersson from Sweden romped home with the fastest time of the night. He says his dogs seem to have woken up! We're pleased for him as he's fighting a battle around 5th place against Daniel Julliguet who also ran a good stage.
Milos was 8 minutes behind Jimmy losing time to Jiri (second fastest we think) and a few seconds only to Radek. Jean-Phillippe came over the line with a dog in the sled a couple of minutes after Milos.
Of course this is just the first half. We woke at 5.30am this morning in order to leave in convoy for the start at Lanslebourg at 6.30. They start in reverse order at 8.30am. Milos commented that it will be interesting to see how teams do today after that fast stage last night. It's 86km with quite a bit of uphill. Jiri's dogs still look super strong and compared to J-P I think he has secured his top spot now. Milos is still trying to hold on for third against Radek. If we can just keep the same pace as him we should be ok as there is quite a big time gap to Daniel.
But it's not easy. Our bad luck with viruses and sickness this year is unbelievable. No sooner is one better then another one goes down. Wuf, Patch and Grony have all been ill in the last couple if days and now Slash has stopped eating again. Balto looks good though and Gina is slowly on the mend although I don't know if she'll be ready for tomorrow. Milos said he had to go slower last night because of Falco too so we will decide if we take him today or drop him. Other than sickness we've had no running injuries at all. The dogs have been in amazing health all through training too. It's so disappointing to know we can't give this our best shot this year as the dogs were in such good shape and were really well trained.
It has not been easy. Spirits have been fairly low and we're all so tired its hard to keep positive. The health of the dogs really affects us and I can't wait for them all to be well again.