ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Eureka Musher Brent Sass was the first into the Dawson City checkpoint arriving at 11:24 a.m. after a long haul from Pelly Crossing in the 2019 Yukon Quest.
"I was really surprised when I left my camp spot this morning that I was alone, and no one had gone by," Sass told reporters in Dawson.
Sass gets 2 ounces of gold, if he finishes the race, for the Dawson City Award, according to the Yukon Quest.
"It was a lot of work; the dogs did 99 percent of it," said Sass. "I was actually sitting down sleeping, nodding off on the hills, and decided that was a bad idea, got my ski pole out, started helping."
Shortly after Sass made it, Michelle Phillips arrived at 11:51 a.m., Hans Gatt at 12:07 p.m. and defending champion Allen Moore at 12:16 p.m.
Those top four teams are building a nice cushion between the lead pack and the rest of the race-- fifth-place Paige Drobny arrived nearly an hour after Moore to Dawson.
"It'll be interesting to see what the strategy is from here on," said Moore. "All of us have been there before, it'll just be a question of who will keep their dogs together."
The defending Quest champion also told reporters that teams were constantly passing each other on their way to Dawson.
Teams have a mandatory veterinarian check and 36-hour layover in Dawson City before making their way to the Alaska-Canada border.