Jane’s results this year have set her up for an almost certain top-three in the worlds. Most of us – probably herself included – would have anticipated top-two, but a broken back, a stretched MCL and a broken radius will do that to rider, boy or girl. You have to come back to it bit by bit.
Jane didn’t help her championship with an uncharacteristic fifth place on day one at the latest round in Romania. This was on account of crashing twice in the first enduro test, losing around two and half minutes.
“There was a big hill and there were two lines, the quicker one for the lads and a slower escape route intended for us girls. I decided to take the lads’ line as I could gain a fair amount of time but instead I lost it right on the crest of the hill. The bike got away from me and let’s say it made it back down to the bottom long before I did!”
Jane lost an almost certain podium in that crash, but this is all part of lifting her game – taking the risks, reaching for that next level. In Laia Sanz she has the most powerful of opponents – a rider with countless world trials titles, the reigning enduro world champion and a rider who has placed in the top-10 outright in stages at the Dakar.
“She is a cut above the rest of us, she has so much experience and with rally, enduro and trials she has the best skills base.”
No one is unbeatable though and Jane has the singular distinction of being the only rider to beat Laia in a test this season.
“That was in an extreme test, though – I’m good in those and even then it helped that she made a mistake. Right now I have to work on my speed. Last year’s EWCs were technical and that helped me, but this year they’ve been fast and flowing and this has helped the likes of Jessica Gardiner who excel in motocross type going. You see, nothing’s guaranteed in this sport, you have to work for it.”
And that’s Jane right now. Working towards the final round of the EWC season in France. What comes after that, who knows, as Jane says, she doesn’t like to look too far ahead as she’s not been so good at it!
And Jane is still like you or I – although being 19 and female, probably nothing like us. Point being, while being semi-pro means Husaberg supply her bikes and support at the EWC, the rest she’s finding herself – that’s flights, accommodation and hire cars. She did Erzberg this year by splitting costs three ways with her dad and brother and sharing the driving of the old (and it is old!) Sprinter. She’d love to ride the Romaniacs, but with an entry fee of €1200 and it costing €800 for transport and basic costs just to get to the start line, then for the time being it’s too costly. But in essence she’s taking the same approach as us to enduro, which she regards as her sport, rather than profession.
“I like trying different things and it doesn’t really bother me if it’s a trial, an enduro or an extreme event, I’ll do any of them if it’s fun and I enjoy it. I’ll grit my teeth and just do the best I can.”