European mushers, Alaskan battling for Iditarod lead

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Two men living in Alaska but with European ties and a Fairbanks musher are battling for the lead in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Race leaders Nicolas Petit, a native of France, Norwegian Joar Uslom and Alaskan Jessie Royer are all at the checkpoint in Grayling, about 530 miles (853 kilometers) into the nearly 1,000-mile (1,600 kilometer) race.

All mushers must take a mandatory eight-hour rest at a checkpoint along the Yukon River. The race leader board indicates Ulsom has already taken his break, but Petit and Royer have not.

Petit won $3,500 and a five-course gourmet meal prepared by a chef flown in from Anchorage earlier Friday for being the first musher to reach the Yukon.

The race will end sometime next week in Nome.

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