So what's going on for everyone? Well, it was plain to see that some of the dogs are tired. I have to say Remy Coste's dogs looked pretty knackered at the Polar Base today and weren't eating well. (As an aside he was awarded Best Dog Care tonight which I'm actually pretty amazed at because I really don't think his dogs were in good shape at all! Maybe it was because he took all 10 in his tent because they're not used to camping out). Radeks were better but I'd say they're both pushing quite hard. Milos is too but ours still look quite fresh. We thought the shorter, faster stages due to bad snow conditions would suit everyone else but it seems that it has suited us too. The dogs are used to running 40 or 60km in training no problem and I think it shows. We have two out of the race so far (I think Dixie is too fat to run at all now and don't forget she was the cause of our bad stage 3) and Leepeys toe is still swollen because she broke her nail so she's also getting fat in the trailer. Whereas I would normally be shaking in my boots at the thought of the other 12 dogs taking up the slack, this year I'm not too worried. They all look good. No injuries so far and no real stiffness. I'm sure our routine of walking, stretching, and massaging after every stage helps. I hope I'll be saying the same as the stages get longer. Just three more to go! And three minutes to catch Radek! I feel quite bad saying that as he's such a nice guy and a fair competitor it's hard not to want him to win but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want us to go home Champions!
I'd love to write more about Jan but he's being very consistent in fourth place and not troubled too much by anything. He got 4th again today and other than a couple of picky eaters I think the dogs are ok. Infact he says Remy Coste is 'hooking' up with him to get the team up the hills a bit quicker and then loses Jan when he drives a bit crazy down hill.
It's a mass start from Bessans tomorrow so if you're watching the GPS bear in mind the first one on the trail is the fastest. The only caveat might be the rumour that they may start three teams at a time, instead of all of them. I'll let you know when I know!
I'll leave you with a picture of Milos coming over the finish line tonight and the stage podium. Oh and the times.
Goodnight all wish us luck for tomorrow! It's a bit longer at 64km.