Allen Moore mushed to his fifth Copper Basin 300 championship on Monday, holding off Nicolas Petit on the final run to the finish line in Glennallen.
Fans were treated to a daylight finish at the Old Paths Baptist Church, where it was about minus-5 when Moore and Petit arrived after a 300-mile journey that began Saturday.
Moore reached the finish line with a team of 10 dogs at 2:05 p.m. Petit, driving a team of eight dogs, was close behind at 2:12 p.m.
Moore, a Two Rivers driver from SP Kennel, successfully defended his 2013 title. His other victories came in 2008, 2007 and 2005.
Petit, a Girdwood man who was named Most Improved in last year's Iditarod after placing sixth, made the top three for the second year in a row, improving on last year's third-place finish.
Moore snatched the lead from Petit at the Tolsana checkpoint early Monday morning.
Petit was the first to reach the Tolsana checkpoint at 6:22 a.m. after a long run from Lake Louise Lodge. Moore followed at 6:44 a.m.
Moore spent just 30 minutes at the checkpoint while Petit stayed for an hour, which put Moore on the trail eight minutes ahead of Petit.
Moore then traveled the 30-mile loop to Crosswind Lake and back to Tolsana in 3 hours, 20 minutes, three minutes faster than Petit.
After a 30-minute layover, Moore left Tolsana for a second time, beginning his 24-mile push to the Glennallen finish line at 11:04, 11 minutes ahead of Petit.
Petit gained four minutes on the final run to cut the final margin to seven minutes.
"I thought I might have a chance, and then I never saw him (after Tolsana)," Petit told KCAM radio.
A qualifying race for the Iditarod and a favorite among mushers, this year's Copper Basin drew a full field of racers.
Copper Basin 300
2014 Allen Moore
2013 Allen Moore
2011 Jake Berkowitz
2010 Jeff King
2009 Lance Mackey
2008 Allen Moore
2007 Allen Moore
2006 Lance Mackey
2005 Allen Moore
2004 William Kleedehn
2003 Zack Steer
2002 Hans Gatt
2001 DeeDee Jonrowe
1999 Martin Buser
1998 Mitch Seavey
1997 Mitch Seavey
1995 Jeff King
1994 Will Forsberg
1993 Tim Osmar
1992 Susan Butcher
1991 Susan Butcher
1990 John Schandelmeier
Anchorage Daily News / adn.com