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!
FOR ROAD BIKE TRIPS…
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