The timings are in and Milos lost a huge 4 mins 35 seconds to Radek today. He's quite disappointed as he felt he was running around the same speed until the last hill when Milos's team took a dive in energy and Radek easily lost him. It's not impossible to get that back but with the stages so short at the moment we will find that hard to do. The only good thing is that we couldn't lose to a nicer man. If anyone is going to beat us we want it to be him. :-)
So what went wrong? Well, Milos said the dogs were tired. I'm not sure what exactly it might be but travelling in a trailer for 4 days is certainly not going to help. Nor will the numerous coffee tours they took over Christmas. Hardly good training in the last couple of weeks. And their appetites have just disappeared. Not for all of them but for four or five. That's got to change. They can't run on empty.
But Milos said he felt the same. He ran out of steam too. With 2900 metres climbed over 32km that is a lot of uphill and Milos hasn't trained himself that much either.
Jan had a better day. His dogs performed well and the heat didn't seem to slow them too much. Jan himself said that he thought today's stage would be harder than it was. He was pleasantly surprised. The result is that he's climbed to fourth place in the overall rankings and now looks very good for the Best Rookie.
So now we're back at the hostel accommodation and about to go into the mushers meeting about tomorrow. The stage looks to be shortened again due to lack of snow. Again, this is a disadvantage for us (well, usually, although Milos says he was quite glad it wasn't any longer today).
My final thought is that things are still quite good. If you can still manage 2nd place on a bad day then there's still hope.
The pictures below show the Stage 2 times/rankings and the overall rankings.