Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Stage 9a - the beginning of the end!

This morning we took a convoy to Aussois, the start of the race at 3pm. Milos started at 3.22, two minutes ahead of the Frenchman Pontier. The order, in 2 minute intervals, was then Radek, Jiri, Jimmy and Remy Coste.

Just outside of Aussois (about 50 minutes in), Milos was still ahead of Pontier but the French had reduced the two minute time gap. Radek behind was taking it easy, perhaps waiting for Jiri who was catching him fast so the two Czechs could help each other through the race. Jiri looked fast. Jimmy too. Remy Coste also looked quite good but this is a long, long stage of 83km up to the Polar Base and its a really warm day in the sunshine so its best to take it easy.

This is usually a good stage for Milos and the dogs like the Polar Base as its a bit colder. Milos sleeps out in a tent tonight which the mushers don't usually look forward to but he is at least used to it because of our tourist business.

The climb up to the Polar Base is one of three mountain ascents that count towards the Best Climber award which Milos won last year (in an unofficial way as they were just testing the idea).

I won't know much until late tonight but I wish for the best. Last nights results came out and Pontier only gained 24 seconds on Milos yesterday which is great. Milos lost another five to Radek but we still have half an hour for him to catch us.

The pictures today are of last nights results as well as one of Pavol waxing the sled skis, Martin Bilys dog with his head in the cooler and one of Milos and his mum who arrived last night to see the final 2 days of the race.

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