The final 2016 Yukon Quest musher has crossed the finish line near Whitehorse.

Quest rookie Gaetan Pierrard, 39, arrived at Takhini Hot Springs around 9 a.m. Friday. The 1,600 kilometre sled dog race began Feb. 6 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Pierrard said he felt the support of volunteers and spectators despite not being among the fastest teams. 

"[It] was nice to go through these checkpoints, even being last and late, to have still a big crowd just cheering at me, big smiles, big hearts all the way."

Pierrard was the 19th musher to complete this year's race. Twenty-three teams began the race; three scratched and one was involuntarily withdrawn.

The Yukon Quest awards banquet will take place Saturday night in Whitehorse.

This year's race was won by Alaskan Hugh Neff. The purse of $115,000 U.S. will be shared among the top 10 finishers.