ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A Norwegian musher was poised on Tuesday to win the Iditarod Path Sled Canine Race and notch the third victory ever for his dwelling nation in 46 years of the annual 1,000-mile (1609-km) trek throughout Alaska’s wilderness.
Joar Leifseth Ulsom jumped into first place of the world’s most well-known sled-dog race on Monday when he handed French native Nicolas Petit on the Bering Sea ice. Petit, who had held a snug lead, went astray as he ventured into blowing snow and misplaced the path, forcing him to backtrack.
Petit informed the Anchorage Each day Information that he was led off-course by some markers left over from the Iron Canine snowmobile race.
By noon on Tuesday, Ulsom and Petit and their canine had paused within the Inupiat Eskimo village of White Mountain, a compulsory eight-hour relaxation cease earlier than the ultimate sprint to the end line in Nome, a coastal Gold Rush city 77 miles (124 km)to the west.
Ulsom, who arrived Three-1/2 hours forward of Petit, was anticipated to return to the path within the afternoon and arrive on the end line someday after midnight, capping 9 days of competitors.
If he prevails, Ulsom will develop into the second Norwegian to win the 1,000-mile Iditarod. Countryman Robert Sorlie gained twice earlier than – in 2003 and once more in 2005.
From the Norwegian city of Mo i Rana, simply south of the Arctic Circle, the 31-year-old Ulsom has constructed a powerful worldwide mushing report.
He has completed within the prime seven in all seven of his previous Iditarod races, and was the fastest-ever rookie in 2013. He’s a two-time winner of the long-distance Nadezhda Hope race in Russia’s Chukotka area, and gained a 2012 dash championship in Chukotka.
Petit additionally brings some worldwide aptitude to the Iditarod. The 36-year-old contestant grew up in France’s Normandy area and moved to Alaska in 1992. He lives within the ski city of Girdwood.
Sixty-seven mushers and their canine began the Iditarod in Anchorage on March Three. As of Tuesday afternoon, six had dropped out of competition. Most Iditarod mushers are from Alaska, however annually there are a number of Norwegians within the race.
The Iditarod finishers will break up a complete $500,000 prize purse, and the first-place champion additionally will get a brand new pickup truck.
As Ulsom and Petit waited out their final Iditarod relaxation, four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey was in Norway, the place he was main within the 1,100-kilometer (682-mile) Finnmarksløpet.
Seavey, on the middle of a dog-doping scandal, withdrew from this 12 months’s Iditarod. 4 of his canine examined constructive for a banned opioid after final 12 months’s race, however he has proclaimed his innocence and has accused Iditarod managers of botching his case. He has additionally instructed that he was the sufferer of sabotage.
Enhancing by Steve Gorman and Sandra Maler