British Cycling has now come up with grading systems for sportives. With this new system, cyclists who enter sportives from the next year will have a method to judge their comparative degrees of difficulty. The base of the grading system, as announced by the Governing body of British Cycling, will be on a difficulty scale of 1 to 5.
The difficulty scale has been devised with the help of IMG Challenger World who were the organizers of the Marie Curie Etape Series. This difficulty scale will enable prospective participants to measure the scale of the challenge that they are going to take up. They will also be able to compare one event against the other, for all events.
This scale will not only be useful for prospective entrants, but also hold benefits for the organizers. It will help organizers while planning routes that are focussed on cyclists of different abilities. This will help in reflecting the fact that many sportives involve a longer and tougher course, and a shorter and easier one.
This scale will be implemented in all the events that will be held in the year 2014. British Cycling has also said that there will be icons on the event listings on the website that will denote the grading of the event.
The working of the scale involves the combination of distance and climb to produce the required grading (more information on the working would be available in the British Cycling website).
The organisation’s Cycle Sport Events Manager, Jonathan Day, said about the scale that, “We are delighted to get this system up and running for 2014”. Day also added that every participant of the sportives should also enjoy the experience and this will help riders to get a better understanding of the physical demands of the events they participate in.