Sass and Moore neck and neck in Quest finale

The final stretch of the Yukon Quest is shaping up to be a dogged fight between the first two mushers out of the gate.

The final stretch of the Yukon Quest is shaping up to be a dogged fight between the first two mushers out of the gate.

Brent Sass and two-time defending champion Allen Moore arrived at Two Rivers, the 13th and final checkpoint, only two minutes apart earlier this morning.

With only 45 miles (72 kilometres) to go in the 1000-mile race, Moore has 13 dogs left while Sass has 12.

Moore has made up considerable ground on his rival since the race began on Feb. 7.

Sass, in his ninth Quest, reached Dawson City on Feb. 10 with a substantial six-hour lead over Moore.

But Sass’s lead was cut to 30 miles (48 kilometres) by the time he reached the Eagle checkpoint on Thursday, following a scary encounter with a moose.

It nearly stomped on one of his lead dogs, but fortunately the dogs spread out.

“I looked him right in the eye and he just went right on by,” Sass said in a news release.

Last night, Moore briefly overtook Sass after a strong run over the Eagle Summit.

Two Rivers is the final mandatory layover for the mushers, at eight hours.

Race organizers anticipate the winner to cross the finish line around midnight tonight, if the current pace is kept, they announced on Twitter this morning. 

Tagish resident Ed Hopkins, the top Yukoner, was in third place and about 60 miles (96 kilometres) away from the front-runners as of this morning.

Whitehorse’s Normand Casavant and Dawson City’s Brian Wilmshurst were in sixth and ninth place, respectively, this morning.

Only 16 of the original field of 26 mushers are left, after two more scratched on Saturday.

Both Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Cody Strathe, who were in fourth and sixth place respectively, decided to call it a day at the Eagle checkpoint, citing the well-being of their dogs.

This year’s Quest saw five teams scratch in the first three days of the race.

It’s the most to scratch before the second half of the race since 2011.

Musher Rolland Trowbridge was withdrawn from the race after asking for outside help.

Contact Myles Dolphin at myles@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Car crashes through Whitehorse school fence

2 people taken to hospital, no kids hurt

Tagish dog rescue owner asks for court order to get rid of dogs to be put on hold

Shelley Cuthbert argued forcing her to get rid of all but two dogs would cause ‘irreparable harm’

Yukon College officially unveils new $3.59M Whitehorse learning space

Innovation Commons designed to let the sunlight in

No vacancy: Whitehorse family spends five months seeking housing

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

Bedbug situation in Whitehorse building becoming intolerable, resident says

Gabriel Smarch said he’s been dealing with bedbugs since he moved into his apartment 15 years ago

The week in Yukon mining

Goldcorp re-submits Coffee plans, Mount Nansen sale looms, Kudz Ze Kayah comments open

Painting the past: Kaska artist explores his childhood in new show

‘I used to say I painted and I carved. But now I say it’s through my ancestors.’

Rain and warm weather makes for interesting Carbon Hill race day

‘I guess we all start getting used to this crazy weather.’

Ice, ice, baby: scaling a frozen Yukon waterfall

‘There’s a really transformative affect with adventure’

Delegate blunt about proposed location of cannabis retail stores

‘Marijuana has had a stigma of being a bad thing’

What does the NDP need to gain power once again?

The party will need to do some soul searching before we head to the polls again

Yukon history is picture post card perfect

The most interesting gift I received at Christmas this year was the… Continue reading

Contentious Whitehorse quarry proposal raises city hackles

‘We’ve had concerns from the get-go on this one’

Most Read