The opening round of the Championnat de France d'enduro last weekend saw Hawkesbury motocross champ Jess Gardiner take a clean sweep on both days to ignite her championship in the best way possible.
The first day of competition, at Le Luc in southern eastern of France, was quite difficult for Gardiner in some of the tests as she had to try and pass the other women on tracks which were quite tight.
This made it challenging according to the 24-year-old who now has teamed up with the Rider Camp Yamaha team for the 2017 season. However, Gardiner managed to claim the win with a total time of 28min 53.319, which was 45.414sec clear of second place.
“It’s a great way to kick start the championship off with a win,” said Gardiner at the conclusion of day one.
“We’ll just have to keep on top of everything and keep pushing for another day like we had today as the competition is really strong here in the French championship.”
The second day was pretty much the same as the first, but this time Gardiner’s overall winning margin was trimmed to 19.517sec.
Gardiner said that the opening round of the Championnat de France d'enduro was probably one of the rockiest races she has raced in her life, but she took out the second day with a time of 29min 00.600 and took out four of the six heats with her best time coming in the in the fourth heat with 4min 19.775.
Gardiner’s win on Sunday didn’t come easy, as she had a bit of bad luck by connecting with other riders which brought her unstuck on a dry and dusty track.
“Overall I’m very happy about the weekend considering the challenges I had against me.
“Obviously I was one of the main competitors, which always adds a bit of pressure. However the pressure I believe makes you race just that little bit better.”
Gardiner will now head into the second round with a six point championship lead.
“I can’t thank the Rider Camp Yamaha team enough for providing assistance for me on both days. Everyone in the team worked super hard and it’s credit everyone in the team. Also big shout to Philip Motos for the Yamaha WR250F and of course Yamaha Motor Australia for providing me all the parts.
Gardiner, who has previously competed in a handful of French Enduro rounds was once again impressed with the overall championship.
“I believe the French Championship is a really good series to race in. It’s probably one of the best national championships in the world. Their level of professionalism from everything from the racing, paddock layout even down to the social media side of things is totally amazing.”
The next round of the Championnat de France d'enduro will take place in Gace´ on 13-14 May.
Gardiner will now turn her attention to this weekend’s opening round the Women’s EnduroGP series which be held in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain.