Nicolas Petit takes lead in 2019 Iditarod;first musher into McGrath

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - We are still in the early stages of the 2019 Iditarod.
While defending champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom held an early lead, the man who finished behind him last year has now taken the top spot.
While Ulsom was sleeping at the Nikolai checkpoint, Nicolas Petit blew past the checkpoint to take the lead.
He only stopped at Nicolai for four minutes, giving himself an hour and a half lead on Ulsom.
Petit was the first musher to arrive at the McGrath Checkpoint, winning the first ever Alaska Air Transit Spirit of Iditarod Award.
As part of the award, Petit received a pair of Beaver Mitts and a Musher hat.
Jessie Royer is in third place, leaving Nikolai a little after noon while Peter Kaiser also left the checkpoint at around 12:30.
Aliy Zirkle will round out our top 5 for today.
All 52 teams are still on the trail to Nome.
There are no scratches or withdraws to report.
Our current Red Lantern Holder is Rookie Victoria Hardwick, who most recently checked out of Rainy Pass.