Defending Australian Off-Road Champion Jess Gardiner overcame a number of small crashes and clawed her way to a well-deserved second place at round three of the Australian Off-Road Championship held at Hedley in southern Victoria on Saturday.
The two-hour cross country event was staged in near perfect conditions and Gardiner was on the pace. The Sherco rider battled the 171-rider field to claim third outright just behind multi-time Australian enduro Champion and Masters Class winner David Fleming.
"I think I set a new personal record for the number of crashes I had in a race,” Gardiner said after the event. “It was tough out there but I stuck at it and did my best. Second place isn't what I wanted but I'm still in a really good Championship position.”
Sunday saw an enduro sprint format for round four of the Championship and Gardiner again placed second
“We raced five heats for the day and I actually won the final test. It was all a bit late in the day, however, but again, second leaves me with good points for the Championship and the Championship is my goal.”
Gardiner now leaves her Australian racing duties on hold while she travels to Europe for her 2015 FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship assault. Gardiner hopes to improve on her third place in the 2014 World Championship and become Australia’s first female Enduro World Champion.