La Grande Odyssée

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La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is an international sled dog race spanning 900 kilometres (560 mi) in French Alps and Swiss Alps. It was first held in January 2005. The 2012 La Grande Odyssée purse was $100,000. The next edition of the race was scheduled to be held from 10–21 January 2015.

Sled dog racing sport

Sled dog racing is a winter dog sport most popular in the Arctic regions of the United States, Canada, Russia, Greenland and some European countries. It involves the timed competition of teams of sled dogs that pull a sled with the dog driver or musher standing on the runners. The team completing the marked course in the least time is judged the winner.

French Alps part of the Alps mountain range in France

The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.

Swiss Alps portion of the Alps mountain range that lies within Switzerland

The Alpine region of Switzerland, conventionally referred to as the Swiss Alps, represents a major natural feature of the country and is, along with the Swiss Plateau and the Swiss portion of the Jura Mountains, one of its three main physiographic regions. The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. While the northern ranges from the Bernese Alps to the Appenzell Alps are entirely in Switzerland, the southern ranges from the Mont Blanc massif to the Bernina massif are shared with other countries such as France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein.


Logo LGO.jpg

The course

La Grande Odyssee 2005 Attelages-LGO-004.jpg
La Grande Odyssée 2005
Musher on the Petit Mont-Cenis Plateau LGO 1.jpg
Musher on the Petit Mont-Cenis Plateau

La Grande Odyssée Savoie-Mont-Blanc is intended for mushers with teams of 14 dogs who are experienced in long- and middle-distance. Through Savoie and Haute Savoie, France and Switzerland, mushers from perhaps a dozen different countries, compete for two weeks of racing over a course more than 800 km long, with a change in altitude of more than 25,000 metres (82,000 ft). [1] The course takes the teams to 24 ski resorts (20 French and four Swiss). For each of the 10 stages, time-trialed (every two minutes) or mass (in parallel) starts bring thousands of spectators to the Savoie-Mont-Blanc region. The race includes three completely independent encampments: one in the first week and two in the second week.

The Haute-Maurienne-Vanoise Trophy

During the 2013 race, the Haute-Maurienne-Vanoise Trophy will take place during stages 7 (shortened), 8 and 9 of La Grande Odyssée Savoie-Mont-Blanc in Haute-Maurienne-Vanoise. It is open to a maximum of 10 middle-distance mushers, who must cover nearly 200 km/effort and climb up 5000m of height difference in total. The Haute-Maurienne-Vanoise Trophy also includes a compulsory encampment on open mountain.


Using a GPS tracking system, spectators can visit the race's website to follow in real time the mushers’ progress. The tracking also provides security for the competitors. In addition to the tracking system, Each sled is also equipped with a calculator and a GPRS phone.

Each itinerary is simulated in 3D as a "virtual walk around" realized with the help of a camera positioned to follow a precise path along a track or sled trail.

List of winners

The 2012 La Grande Odyssée purse was $100,000, the first prize was $30,000, the second prize was $20,000 and the third prize was $10,000.

Prize money has a distinct meaning in warfare, especially naval warfare, where it was a monetary reward paid out under prize law to the crew of a ship for capturing or sinking an enemy vessel. The claims for the bounty are usually heard in a Prize Court.

Year1st MusherTime (h:min:s)2nd Musher3ds Mucher
2005 Flag of Alaska.svg Jessie Royer35:59:14 Flag of France.svg Jacques Philip Flag of Canada.svg Grant Beck
2006 Flag of France.svg Jacques Philip40:55:59 Flag of Alaska.svg Ken Anderson Flag of Michigan.svg Timothy Hunt
2007Race ended due to snow conditions
2008 Flag of Sweden.svg Petter Karlsson36:03:51 Flag of Switzerland.svg Emil Inauen Flag of Norway.svg Ketil Reitan
2009 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Radek Havrda40:12:17 Flag of Norway.svg Robert Sørlie Flag of Norway.svg Sigrid Ekran
2010 Flag of Switzerland.svg Emil Inauen40:17:48 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Radek Havrda Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Jiri Vondrak
2011 Flag of Slovakia.svg Miloš Gonda27:49:32 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Martin Bily Flag of France.svg Jean-Philippe Pontier
2012 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Radek Havrda39:24:12 Flag of Slovakia.svg Miloš Gonda Flag of France.svg Jean-Philippe Pontier

2011 changes

For 2011, Finnmarksløpet in Norway and La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc in France decided to create a new championship called the Arctic Alps Cup. It follows the trails of the Espace Diamant that join the Franco-Swiss massifs called Portes du Soleil, the Haute Maurienne Vanoise and Megève.

Finnmarksløpet recurring sporting event

Finnmarksløpet is the world's northernmost sled dog race. It is also Europe's longest sled dog race. The race starts on Saturday of the 10th week of the year and goes across Finnmark in Norway. The race was first run in 1981.

See also

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