Australia announce women only squad for ISDE 2023
Motorcycling Australia have named Jessica Gardiner, Tayla Jones and Danielle McDonald as three-rider Women’s World Trophy team for the 2023 FIM International Six Days Enduro in San Juan, Argentina leaving male World and Junior Trophy teams out due to cost issues.
It’s fair to say Enduro21 helped stir-up a bit of a storm down under with a recent story about the upcoming ISDE in Argentina. A press release landed on our digital door mat from the FIM with details about the different nations entered up to July and hidden within it was the fact that no Australian teams were entered.
It seemed like big news to us, so we banged it in the headline and watched the storm blow up. Read that here: 2023 ISDE Argentina entries – strong USA team but no Aussies?
Righting that wrong (through our sporting eyes at least) Motorcycling Australia have now announced a late entry of just one trophy team heading to San Juan, the Women’s World Trophy squad.
Australia are fielding two, six-times ISDE trophy winners, Jessica Gardiner and Tayla Jones, plus a rider not everyone outside of Australia will have heard of, Danielle McDonald. The other female teams in San Juan this November needn’t think McDonald is a weak ink however, multiple Junior Girls Australian Off-Road Champion and four-time Hattah Race Champion will bring pedigree to the dry and dusty Argentine tests.
It’s obviously great news for the competition in the women’s category which has lacked a few of the big hitters in recent years either through injury or crashes in the event. Australia didn’t make it to Italy two years ago due to travel restrictions and injury saw some of their former Trophy winners like Jones out of ISDE France ’22.
What no men’s senior and junior squads?
MA say “significantly increased financial burdens” getting this whole show to and from South America pose an “insurmountable challenge”. That seems far and they are not the only national federation curbing their teams (Spain for example are only sending a World Trophy squad).
But they talk of “limited access” to “competitive equipment, spare parts, and technical support” which has led to the decision to reconsider the scale of this year’s Australian ISDE efforts.
An undeniable crucial element in all this is certain factory-contracted riders being unavailable due to other commitments and in part to a lack of factory backing – i.e. they don’t have bikes to ride.
However you view it all, and we see the grumbles and comparisons levelled at the amounts of money Motorcycling Australia are spending in other areas of bike sport, it is a shame for the competition. Battles in the South American soil have historically always featured the Aussies heavily across all classes and the competition will be poorer with the green and gold boys.
MA adds “all efforts will be made to field a full Australian Team in 2024 when the ISDE heads back to Spain”.
Photo Credit: Future7Media