Cycling Tour Gradings

When selecting a European cycling tour with Sierra Sports & Tours it is generally a good idea to first consult our tour gradings. All of our cycling tours are graded on a scale of 1-5 Sierra cyclists. A grading of 1 is for ‘Beginners’ and 5 is for ‘Experts’. The system is generic so a level 2 in Spain will essentially be a level 2 in France and so on. Sometimes we need to grade a tour as 1-2 or 2-3 Sierra cyclists. The gradings are set based on the difficulty of the daily tour rides and our overall experience from cycling with clients of all levels. Below you can find a description of the levels, average ride distances & elevation gain, and recommended Sierra tours for each grading. We hope this blog post helps you and remember you can always Contact Us with any tour specific questions!


Cycling: Average Daily Rides: 30–50 km| Average Daily Elevation: 500m elevation gain| Average Riding Time: 2-3 Hours

My Palmares: I’m quite new to cycling but keen to get out on the bike and take it all in. I prefer to ride flatter terrain but I can still ride 2-3km climbs when necessary. If the going gets too tough I won’t mind hopping in the support van and there might be days on tour when I decide to take up some of the planned non-cycling activities.

Recommended Sierra tours: Girona Self-Guided & Go Private Tours

Cycling: Average Daily Rides: 50 – 70km | Average Daily Elevation: 500-1000m elevation gain | Average Riding Time: 3 – 4 Hours

My Palmares: I ride regularly and live a fairly active lifestyle. I’ve begun to start challenging myself on the bike and am up with all the jargon such as watts/kg, interval training, Strava, etc. Hills are becoming my friend! I want to come on tour and ride every day. I find I can back-up day after day when it comes to riding climbs that are 5-8km long.

Recommended Sierra tours: Girona Guided & Self-Guided, Giro/TDF/Vuelta & Go Private Tours

Cycling: Average Daily Rides: 70 – 90km | Average Daily Elevation: 1000-1500m elevation gain | Average Riding Time: 4 – 5 Hours

My Palmares: Cycling is a central part of my life. I do things such as ride to work or look for the local peloton to join for weekend rides. I really enjoy the physical challenge which cycling brings and have started signing-up to gran fondo events and long weekend cycling getaways. 10-15km long climbs don’t scare me! I am also in tune with the N+1 bike concept!

Recommended Sierra tours: Girona Guided & Self-Guided, Spring Classics/Giro/TDF/Vuelta, l’Eroica & Tuscany, Cazorla Gravel & Go Private Tours

Cycling: Average Daily Rides: 90 – 110km | Average Daily Elevation: 1500-2000m| Average Riding Time: 5-6 Hours

My Palmares: When my training is in full-swing it is easy to consistently ride 200-250km/week. You’ve probably seen me at one of those major gran fondo events where on any given day we tap out 200km and 3000m+ elevation gain. I love to push my limits! I look forward to reaching the summit of Category 1 and Hors Categorie climbs because I know they are my friend. You know what? I even dabble in the world of pickle juice and other cramp related remedies!

Recommended Sierra tours: Girona Guided, Spring Classics, l’Eroica & Tuscany, Cazorla Gravel, Pyrenees Coast 2 Coast, Epic French Alps, Epic Italian Alps & Go Private Tours

Cycling: Average Daily Rides: 120km + | Average Daily Elevation: 2000m + elevation gain | Average Riding Time: 6+ Hours

My Palmares: Whatever you throw at me I will give it a go! I have gone away and ridden trips with multiple back-to-back 200km day rides. I am always looking for my next cycling challenge and the big European events like the Raid Pyrenean 100hr challenge excite me rather than give me nightmares!

Recommended Sierra tours: Girona (Go Private adding ventures into the Pyrenees), Pyrenees Coast 2 Coast (ride all optional extra climbs), Epic French Alps, Epic Italian Alps, Epic French & Italian Alps back-to-back (20 days) & Go Private Tours