The stage itself was short but with quite steep hills, so although the distance doesn't really suit us, the hills do (don't ask me how we're so good at hills when we train on the Torne River but it seems we are!). We knew it would be fast and we knew Radek wouldn't have any problems so it was just to see how Remy Coste would do after yesterday's spectacular. To be fair, he did pretty well but thankfully we did better.
Milos and the dogs were on fire! I think the biggest contributor to that is that they have now started eating. The mix of just dry food and water worked. And when they didn't take water we just gave them dry food hoping that they would then become thirsty and would want to drink. That worked too so by the time we got to the parking place today they had all eaten breakfast and after that we managed to water them twice! It was a joy to watch.
We also took our faster dogs (no fat Dixie) knowing it would be a fast stage. We put Waf in lead for the brains and our rocket Cliff for speed. Together they're a great lead team. Behind we had our rising star Hannalore. She goes crazy for running and we put her with Button who's also good in lead with Waf. Foxy and Senna were next and two really good and fast team dogs. Then Patch and Grony. These two are such characters and such gentle dogs out of harness but put them in harness and they love to run! Patch is always good to rev the team up at the start. They're both good, strong dogs that can keep the speed. In wheel at the back were Balto and Toby. These two are safe bets. Big, strong dogs that can also keep the speed despite their size. They're brothers to Waf. I took pictures of them all before the start so will try and post them after this but for now I have included the stage results and overall rankings.
Jan managed a good 4th place again which was actually pretty well done by him because he went wrong on the trail twice (very easily done) and when trying to remedy his first mistake he lost his team. Luckily they got caught up in some barrier netting and they stopped after just 10 metres or so. But Jan wasn't particularly happy with that and lost his two minutes (start interval) to Milos straight away. There were several mushers that made the same mistake. And that's what you have to be careful of here. One mistake and you can lose everything. Luckily Jan keeps his fourth place overall and his standing as Best Rookie. I've no idea if there's a prize for that this year. I know there has been in the past.
Anyway, I must go now as its late, I'm knackered and tomorrow we leave for Megeve! It's just a short show for spectators tomorrow so a day off for the dogs really. I'm sure ours will welcome it!