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Moree off-road enduro riders prepare for Finke – and they want Moree to come along for the ride

Words: Rusty Bell and Bill Poulos

Images: Supplied

A GROUP of Moree off-road enduro riders is this year set to embark on the ultimate challenge – competing in some of the largest and most gruelling off-road events across Australia, including the Tatts Finke Desert Race over the three days of the June long weekend.

The Australian off-road racing calendar is chock-full of extreme events, including the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, Transmoto Enduro, local Pony Express and trail rides and the Australian Four-Day Enduro at Toowoomba in September.

And, through extensive sponsorship, Moree riders Chris Thomas, Scott Madden, James Skehan, Jesse Moore and Julie Denyer plan to compete at all of them if possible.

Denyer, Thomas, Madden and Moore are already locked in for Finke, the renowned Northern Territory desert race steeped in history.

Denyer, an early childhood educator who runs her own family day care centre in Moree was a spectator at Finke last year when Moore and Madden competed and vowed never to return to the Northern Territory without her bike.

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Julie Denyer in action at Goondiwindi Motocross (Image Supplied).

It is estimated that more than 800 competitors on bikes and in cars will nominate for this year’s event, making in the largest and most competitive field ever to line up for what is rightfully claimed to be the toughest race in Australia.

“This race is steeped in history, tradition and prestige,” Denyer said.

“It starts at Alice Springs with competitors racing along the original Ghan railway for 226 kilometres. They follow the railway line before finishing on the river bed of the Finke River – believed to be one of the world’s oldest river beds.

“If that is not enough, they then have to turn around the next day and head back to Alice Springs along the same track to complete about 450 kilometres of bone-jarring, equipment-smashing off-road racing,” she said.

The fanfare surrounding the race is incredible.

There is expected to be more than 6000 spectators at the starting line and another 10,000 campers along the route, cheering on competitors.

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Jesse Moore at Moree Motocross (Image Supplied).

“It all makes for the largest collection of people from the widest geographic in Australia, with fans and teams coming from all corners of the country, all there to experience the phenomena known as Finke,” Denyer said.

Madden competed in Finke in 2012, 2015 and 2016, the latest when he finished 25th in class.

“Scott is a formidable force, especially in the local and state series of pony express racing and motocross,” Denyer said.

Moore has competed in Finke for the past two years, making the top-50 list with ease.

Last year he came in 36th outright and 15th out of 112 competitors in class.

“Jesse has been competing since the age of six and has devoted his entire life to the art of riding motorcycles competitively,” said Denyer, who is considered by many as Moree’s fiercest female off-road racer.

“I’m on my bike every chance I get and love mixing it with the boys,” she smiled.

“I was at Finke last year as a spectator, and this year I’m definitely taking my bike and competing – wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

The group is seeking sponsorship to help with the overall cost of getting to Finke as well as competing in the time-honoured event.

“We will be the walking, talking, riding and driving billboard for Moree and district businesses that will make the 5500km round trip to Alice – that’s just getting to the track and back,” Denyer said.

“We want to give local businesses and individuals for that matter, the opportunity to be part of our great team.

“We envisage arriving in Alice Springs for two weeks of testing and tuning prior to the start, and just this alone will be fantastic exposure for our sponsors.

“We all work with the public on a day-to-day basis and are very aware of presentation – not only of our machinery, but of ourselves,” she said.

“We aim to be proud Moree ambassadors and we will represent our town and sponsors in the best possible way.”

Sponsorship deals ranging from $100 to $5000 are being offered, which includes unique advertising opportunities through social media platforms, Finke updates via e-mail and SMS as well as company logos on all team motorcycles and race-wear.

“We are inviting businesses and individuals to be a part of history and our team members welcome enquiries to discuss a great opportunity to be part of the Moree Enduro Team,” Denyer said.

Team Contact Details:

Chris Thomas:                   0428 651215 or 0267 523566

Scott Madden:                 0427 719170 or 0267 522116

Jesse Moore:                     0447 066800 or 0267 523566

Julie Denyer:                     0409 916452