Thomas Tetz wins Quest 300
Thomas Tetz surprised race fans at Pelly Crossing by crossing the finish line first after leaving the checkpoint in third position, a few hours after the leader. Roland Waldispuel finished second just 7 minutes after Tetz. According to Thomas, he passed Roland about five miles before the finish. Previous race leader Jeremie Matrishon was reported camping out on the trail past Stepping Stone.Thomas was running a team from Hans Gatt's kennel in preparation for Hans' upcoming Iditarod team. He told reporters his primary focus was on maintaining a schedule to keep those dogs healthy and on track for their upcoming race. 'I didn't want to run them over 8 hours, so I just kept to shorter runs.' reported Tetz. While Tetz said he did not enter to win, he did concede that his competitive side played a factor. 'It's a race, you pay attention to who's around you and you do your best, but my primary goal was to help Hans with his team.'Tetz said he decided to do a short rest in Stepping Stone after realizing he had a faster team than his two competitors and noticing that they did not stop in Stepping Stone. 'I knew if I rested a bit, I could maybe catch them.' explained Tetz.The final loop of the trail was slower traveling and Thomas suspected he and Roland were traveling the same speed. 'But then we returned onto the main trail and my dogs sped right up.' Thomas reported passing Roland only 5 miles out of Pelly Crossing. Always a friendly competitor, Tetz passed with a smile and commented 'Good Race' to Roland then continued on into Pelly Crossing.After a good rest, Thomas will now join the Yukon Quest organization as a race official in Dawson City. Thomas proved invaluable as a race judge in the 2006 race and the Yukon Quest is looking forward to having him back on the trail for the 2007 Yukon Quest.A Banquet will be held tonight in Pelly Crossing to recognize the achievements of the Yukon Quest 300 mushers.