Jess Gardiner crowned 2017 Women’s French Enduro champion in Ambert

When the grand finale of the 2017 French Enduro Championship went to Ambert for Round 5, it was 24-year-old Australian Jess Gardiner who took home the Women’s Championship title, despite riding with a recently broken scapula in challenging conditions.

Jess Gardiner took the 2017 Women's French Enduro Championship title - Image by Mastorgne Photography
Jess Gardiner took the 2017 Women’s French Enduro Championship title – Image by Mastorgne Photography

Gardiner took a single point lead into the final after a DNF result in Round 4 from originally breaking her scapula but that wasn’t enough to slow her championship charge.

In true Australian style, Gardiner rode through the pain barrier to score a double race win which saw her locking up the Women’s French Enduro championship, becoming the first Aussie to win the title.

The first day of competition saw simply ‘insane’ weather conditions, with the entire day affected by rain. Gardiner, who won with a total time of 55min47.975, 8.937 seconds clear from Justine Martel, didn’t remember the last time that she was so cold while racing a motorcycle.

Jess Gardiner

“The trails were like riding in a creek with that much water gushing everywhere. The trial is the toughest trial for a French Championship since the last time I remember racing here in 2014. When I knew I was going to crash I jumped onto my feet at the last moment to preserve my scapula. Overall I’m really happy to get the victory today. Now, with a six point lead in the championship it has taken a lot of stress off me heading into the final day tomorrow. Once again I can’t thank the Ridercamp enduro team enough, as they have all done a fantastic job with supplying me a race winning Yamaha WR250F. On top of that, in such hard conditions such as today, Michelin tyres have yet again proved to be the best tyres to be on to get the job done.”

Jess Gardiner was riding with a recently broken scapula - Image by Mastorgne Photography
Jess Gardiner was riding with a recently broken scapula – Image by Mastorgne Photography

The final race of the 2017 season was a tough day at the office for Gardiner, as her shoulder was not only extremely stiff, but also very swollen from the previous day of racing due to the extreme conditions. Once again, this didn’t stop her from storming to the overall victory, winning three out of the six heats.

Jess Gardiner

“Today was much nicer for racing as there was no rain, but the tests were still super slippery. I’m extremely happy to win the championship. This championship is a fantastic reward for all my French sponsors as well as sponsors back home, as they have all supported me so much this year. On top of that, it’s so nice to be able to get the job done for the Ridercamp enduro team, as everyone has put in a huge effort this year. To be able to come here and beat the best French girls in their country is something I’m very proud about. While I may have taken nine wins this year, every single one of those wins I was pushed all the way by everyone, which shows why the Championnat de France d’enduro series is such a great championship.”

Jess Gardiner - Image by Mastorgne Photography
Jess Gardiner – Image by Mastorgne Photography

This year has seen Gardiner taking a total of nine wins from ten starts, which she has labelled as a successful year and very proud of. Now that the Championnat de France d’enduro has come to a close, Gardiner will now turn her attention to the final round of the FIM European-Enduro-Championship which sees her leading the series by 23-points.

The final stop of the FIM European-Enduro Championship heads to Gelnica, Slovakia on 13-15 October.


Championnat de France d’enduro championship final standings (top 5)
  1. Jess Gardiner 180
  2. Samantha Tichet 169
  3. Juliette Berrez 152
  4. Justine Martel 126
  5. Valerie Roche 111
Jess Gardiner - Image by Mastorgne Photography
Jess Gardiner – Image by Mastorgne Photography