La Grande Odyssee

The whole field of competitors got together on Saturday morning for the first musher briefingwhere they were given all the necessary instructions for starting the firststage of this race.Nicolas Vanier, Race Director, is more than happy to get back to this race after hiswonderful adventure in Siberia, a year ago. He specially thanked the local peoplewho completed such an extraordinary job to prepare a safe trail. Thank you verymuch...!Havrda Radek was the first musher to go through Lanslebourg where the crowd waspacked all along the main street. There was a great atmosphere in this village which prepared well in advance to be ready for this unique event.After 2 loops in the valley, the mushers raced to Mont_Cenis pass wherethey will spend the night at the bivouac built by the Alpine troops.Thanks to the GPS system, people could follow the race and locate each and every team on abig screen installed at the race HQ. Jean-Philippe Pontier did a great first half-stage in 2hr 23min 24sec to take thelead of the race, followed by the Italian musher Cattaneo 7min later, and thenIsabelle Travadon, the first woman, is in 3rd position.Now, all mushers are at the bivouac taking care of their dogs beforespending a nice evening with the public who joined them around a fire camp.Mushers will leave the Polar Base on Sunday at 11:30 and the arrival is planned onSunday evening at around 6pm, in Lanslevillard.

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