Sherco, Ballards Motorex off-road rider, Jess Gardiner struck a different type of gold in Bendigo over the weekend taking out the women’s crown in the Australian Off-Road Championships (AORC).
The 21 year old from Londonderry NSW, reclaimed her title finishing comfortably on 291 points from Emelie Karlsson (243) in second and Tayla Jones (242) in third. Gardiner was ecstatic to be able to bring home an Australian Championship on board her Sherco, her second after taking out the Australian Four Day in Dungog last month.
Speaking about her win, Gardiner said, “It is so rewarding to have all the hard work, the training after work, the long drives to go racing and training on the weekend’s pay off. It makes it all worth it for the love and fun of my chosen sport.”
Gardiner went into the final rounds in Bendigo with a comfortable 22 point lead but struggled from beginning with the dead engine start and volume of dust saw her round the first corner in fifth position.
After a small crash on lap two, Gardiner gave rival Tayla Jones a healthy lead into lap three, but pushed through to take the win after Jones had mechanical problems.
“I knew coming up to the halfway point I had to push hard to fight the arm pump and dust to be able to battle.” She said.
Celebrations started early on Saturday afternoon as the win in round 11 meant Gardiner had enough points to claim the 2014 title.
“It has been an amazing year and an exciting one at that. I claimed nine out of 12 round wins to seal my third AORC championship win in 2010, 2012 and now 2014!
“I want to specially thank all my family, all my amazing sponsors who have been a part of my 2014 racing and I could not have done this without.” Gardiner said.
Jess is now back in Europe to compete in the final rounds of the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championships (EWC) in Brioude, France where she currently sits in third position.