Lateral Events, owner and organiser of four successful editions of L’Étape Australia by Tour de France held in the Snowy Mountains from 2016 – 2019, have launched their new cycling event, Drops + Hoods – Snowy Mountains.

Drops + Hoods – Snowy Mountains will take place from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 December and will encompass the entire region from Dalgety to Berridale, Jindabyne, Thredbo, Perisher, Lake Crackenback and Charlotte Pass. Seven distances (from 34km to 271km) will be available across the road and gravel events. A mountain bike enduro race will be held in Thredbo on Thursday 2 December for the most daring riders.

Drops + Hoods is a pioneering event that delivers the cycling experiences riders asked for that are not available elsewhere. The event was developed based on feedback received from thousands of riders and augmented with the learnings from the global pandemic. Drops + Hoods is a series of cycling events held across four days and spanning the entire region. With participants spread across a number of events and locations, Drops + Hoods promises to deliver a boost to the region after almost two years of reduced visitation.

Stuart Diver, General Manager of Thredbo, said: “Thredbo is very excited to be a part of Drops + Hoods.  It will be the perfect opportunity to safely welcome back visitors to the Snowy Mountains region for what is going to be a massive summer season.”

Florent Malézieux, Head of Sports at Lateral Events, said: “We feel a powerful connection to the local community after four years of L’Étape Australia, so we are thrilled to have Drops + Hoods, the legacy of L’Étape Australia, as a permanent fixture on the calendar. I am looking forward to safely bringing back cyclists and visitors to the region after two difficult winter seasons for the local businesses”.

Drops + Hoods will bring to the Snowy Mountains region the claim to the most challenging ride in Australia, The Ultra: a 271km road ride featuring 5,000+m of elevation. The Ultra is the most challenging and highest ride in Australia, taking riders over 1,937m above sea level to Charlotte Pass.

Gary Pearson, President of the Jindabyne Cycling Club, said “On behalf of the Jindabyne Cycling Club, I am thrilled to welcome riders to our exceptional riding environment. I am pleased to see Lateral Events putting Drops + Hoods in the local calendar, and I am looking forward to many editions of the event”.

Drops + Hoods was designed in consultation with the local community and local authorities to showcase the Snowy Mountains. With events being held over four days, Drops + Hoods will enable local businesses to warmly welcome participants to their premises by activating during the event time with promotional events. Under the umbrella of “This is our Village“, a plethora of special events and entertainment laid across the region every night will be promoted to encourage riders to plan an itinerary for their stay that will ensure they visit all corners.

Peter Beer, Mayor of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council, said: “It’s great to have Lateral Events returning to our region with a new event to celebrate all things cycling in the Snowy Mountains. After such a gap in events, this is a fantastic way to return in size and style, welcoming visitors to the Snowy Mountains and continuing our long-lasting relationship with the company who brought L’Étape Australia to our region for four years”.

With over 2,000 visitors expected to travel to the Snowy Mountains for this event, their patronage in local cafés, restaurants, and shops will generate $1.1m in direct expenditure. Lateral Events is committed to working closely with local providers and hiring a local workforce to support the region’s economy further.

Bruce Easton, owner of Wilderness Sports, said: “We are so excited for the return of Lateral Events and their new event, Drops + Hoods. The Snowy Mountains and especially Jindabyne have had a very challenging couple of years. The local businesses are now ready, willing, and able to welcome people back to the mountains and the lakes renowned for making events like Drops + Hoods a fresh experience”.

Drops + Hoods – Snowy Mountains opens for registration on Monday 11 October 2021 at www.dropsandhoods.com. It is a new generation cycling event and the perfect way to bring visitors to the region as Covid restrictions are lifted, with a comprehensive Covid safety plan in place.

For more information about L’Étape Australia by Tour de France: www.letapeaustralia.com