The 1st Round of the 2002 Women's Elite World Cup will head to the Snowy region for the first time, and is appropriate considering that 2002 is the international year of the Mountains.
The event will be conducted over 103.1 kilometres as a point to point race, starting in Cooma and concluding in Thredbo. Cooma and Thredbo have been featured in all years of the Tour de Snowy and the course is similar to the 1st stage of the inaugural year of the Tour de Snowy won by Jeannie Longo.
Cooma is 810 metres above sea level and the race will be undulating for the first 65 kilometres up to Jindabyne (991 metres above sea level) before starting gradual climbs to finish at Thredbo, which is located 1366 metres above sea level.
There is little doubt that the race will be decided in the final 35 kilometres and we well remember Longo destroying the world class field in the first stage in 1998 over the same course, chasing down a group of six by herself after giving them 2 minutes start and then riding away to a solo victory by over a minute to her nearest rival. Long time followers of women's cycling say that it was one of Longo's greatest rides.
There is no doubt that their will be a smaller field fighting out the major places than the Canberra circuit utilised during the past three years.