La Grande Odyssee

After a good night at the bivouac, the mushers and their teams spent the wholemorning with the numerous visitors and got the opportunity to share with them, theirpassion for the dogs and for mushing.The German musher, Thomas Hoffmann, was relaxing. For him, this is the first race ofa long series as he will spend the next two months in the Nordic countries, competing women and men are competing on a level playing field.On Monday, we will attend the Bessans Mass-Start before crossing Bonneval sur Arc,the very traditional village at the heart of the Haute-Maurienne/Vanoise valley. in Norway and Finland.The second part of the first stage will be tough, especially because of thealtitude, the teams will be running above 2000 meters.Nicolas Vanier shared his 20 years of mushing experience and adventures with the numerouspeople who went up to the polar base for this event. Radek Havrda from Czech Republic, not that well known in France as he mainlycompetes in central and northern Europe in shorter distance races, really surprisedeverybody with his team of Alaskan huskies. He finished 25 minutes ahead of Jean-Philippe Pontier butit was not enough to take the lead of the competition.Pierre-Antoine Héritier, who mushes in winter and manages his vineyard the restof the year, moved up to 3rd place with his Siberian husky team.Giancarlo Cattaneo, after a mistake on the trail, lost quite some time and is now 5th, just ahead of Daniel Juillaguet.Thomas Hoffmann remains in 6th position and is followed by the first women, Isabelle Travadon andValérie du Retail. Let’s not forget, mushing is one of the very few sports where

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