Sportives on the British Cycling calendar will now be ranked according to their difficulty in a new scheme launched by the governing body and Etape Series organisers IMG Challenger World.

Find your perfect match with British Cycling's Sportive Grading system. Photo Rob the Tog via Flickr

The British Cycling Grading (BCG) rates sportives on a scale of one to five. The aim is to help riders – from newbies right through to seasoned sportive veterans – find the right event for them.

The system, which also gives the rider the option to view more detailed rankings on the event, takes into account the distance and amount of climbing in each sportive.

British Cycling’s cycle sport manager Jonathan Day said: “We are delighted to get this system up and running for 2014.

“We want everybody entering sportives to enjoy the experience and by providing an easy-to-understand grading system, riders will be better informed about the physical demands of the events they enter.

“It will also help organisers to promote and publicise their events to the right audience, so we’re very confident that British Cycling Grading can have a very positive and significant impact on the ever-growing sportive scene."

BCG will be in operation for events registered with British Cycling for 2014, with grading icons integrated into the events calendar.

James Robinson, IMG Challenger World managing director, said: “Our events complement each other in offering different difficulty levels so they cater for entry level riders, right up to seasoned cyclists who want a challenge.

“Now all cycling events can ensure riders know what they will encounter during the event, which improves participant experience."

For more information visit the British Cycling: www.britishcycling.org.uk