Enduro

Jessica Gardiner Checks in after round one of the EWC in Spain.

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

Australia's current number one female Off-Road racer, Jessica Gardiner has started her international campaign in style with a second place finish on the second day of the first round of the Women's World Enduro Championship held in Spain.

Gardiner had an impressive 2012, Winning the Women's class at the Australian Off-Road Championship, winning the Women's class of the Australian Four Day Enduro and leading the Australian Women's team to a podium finish at the International Six Day Event in Italy.

Unfortunately an injury late last year set her preparations back for the 2013 season. Also a move from Yamaha to Sherco in Australia for this season coupled with little preparation leading in to the 2013 AORC championship as she worked her way to full fitness, Gardiner has come away with top results in every round so far, including a round win and currently sits second in the Australian Championship.

The move to the Sherco machinery under the Ballards Racing team banner in 2013 in Australia has also seen her move to race aboard a Sherco in the World championship a bike that she proved on the weekend is more than capable of mixing it with the worlds best.

We Checked in with Gardiner yesterday so she could run us through her opening round of the World Championship and what she is up to in the lead up to round two this weekend in Portugal.

Read Below as Jess walks us through her past week and a half on the other side of the world.
Jessica Gardiner in action on her way to second place on Sunday, leaving he sitting in third place in the Women's WEC standings - Credit: Sherco
Last week was spent walking the Spanish EWC tests all the week, right up to the start of the race. It left everyone sunburnt an we had to keep layering the sunscreen on because it was so hot.

There was no "Supertest" on the Friday night as all the tests were virtually in the middle of the town already for the spectators.

When racing got underway Saturday, I was in the group of girls to leave on the 2nd minute in very hot, dry and dusty conditions!

The Spanish organisers set out one of the hardest courses I've ridden, between the bull-dust to steep rocky hills it made it super technical and hard to keep your momentum in trying to get to the top of the hills.

One hill was so steep they had Marshall's at the top with a tow rope! It was one crazy race!

Unfortunately I lost 3 minutes trial time in the first section as it was really tight for time. On the next lap to this same control I manage to lose another minute.

It meant that I was four minutes late for most of the day.

That was until the last extreme test where I managed to get so stuck with no help. After burning my arm while trying to get out I lost five minutes in that test alone.

It was a punishing day, I Arrived to all the tests for the day with no drink or food. The only time I could drink was from by camel-pack while out on the bumpy trail.

Being late or just on time at the end of ever trail section meant tt was go go go!

The Special tests on Saturday were actually more relaxing than the trial, on the Saturday my rest time was the tests and trails felt like the tests!

On Sunday I woke up feeling fresh and although the tracks were completely torn apart I was looking forward to the second day of riding.

The organisers gave the women and extra five minutes to the first control on Sunday as most of the girls were late!

I managed to fight for second place all day Sunday finishing either 2nd or 3rd in every test. I was pretty much only finishing third when I made some mistakes the hard conditions!

I am over the moon to finish second and on the podium for Sherco Australia and for the Sherco World team. It is great to re-pay my family and friends and all of my sponsors from Australia that have stuck by me to help me get to this stage and most importantly for believing in me.

We are currently in Torres vedras Portugal walking tests ready for round 2 this weekend.


We will check back in with Jessica after round two of the World Enduro Championships this weekend.

Top Image: Jessica Gardiner (Left) stood on the second step of the podium in Spain Last weekend
Credit: Sherco

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