First leg of Stage Stop belongs to Streeper…again
WYOMING –With the first leg of the Pedigree Stage Stop Race in the books, the theme of the race thus far is dealing with the warm temps. As the mercury rises into the high 30s and low 40s, dogs get overheated, the trail gets sticky, and mushers must adjust.
The Streeper kennels have been hard to beat for a decade. Buddy Streeper dominated the Stage Stop through the ‘10s, winning six out of seven times from 2010-2016. When the Canadian musher decided not to race last year, the field breathed a sign of relief.
It was short-lived. Buddy’s wife, Lina took the kennel’s ‘A Team’ to victory in 2017, streaking to an easy win over the other 13 teams. Only Dave Torgerson was within striking distance in the end, but eventually Streeper stretched her overall lead to 20-minutes and took home top honors.
Yesterday, on their leg to Alpine, it was once again Lina Streeper outpacing the field. She covered the 62 miles in 4:24:58, besting Torgerson by nearly three minutes. Bondurant’s Alix Crittendon took the surprise ‘show’ for stage one, posting an impressive 4:37:26 time.
Racer Jerry Bath is blogging updates for the event this year. He offered some insight into the mindset of mushers on the trail to Alpine yesterday.
“Several mushers will take ice cube trail snacks for the dogs, just in case it warms up a bit. It doesn’t take much to make or break a dog team today,” Bath wrote. “You will see some mushers set up their dog teams by stopping just for a moment, and running up to the front of the team giving a pat on the head of each dog on the way back to the sled and they are off again. This gives the team a mental recharge and can reset the pace back to where they need to be.”
Alix Crittendon takes off for Alpine: