The Suarez Gran Fondo 2023 series took place in Dade City, Florida on March 19. The event had routes of 35, 55 and 100 miles with a difficulty route of level C i.e. Moderate terrain with rolling short steep hills or sustained moderate climbs.
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The Suarez Gran Fondo National Series is the largest and most competitive series of Gran Fondo cycling events in the United States. It was founded in 2012 by event director Reuben Kline and was the first to implement timed-segment racing into US gran fondo events. Since 2020, the Gran Fondo National Series has been the organizer of the official USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships.
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Work and life balance is the key for success. The yellow jersey Eleonora Marquez, describes her cycling journey and her feelings climbing the top cubes along with two others Miami top cyclists and friends, Debora Finger and Lorena Sanchez.
MCS – Eleonora, what inspired you to start cycling? How do you manage the sport’s routine with your professional life?
E.M: I think I was born with this harmonious passion for sports; however, my biggest inspiration since I was a little girl was my dad. He used to take me to a soccer field to go for a run with him or to play tennis for hours. He taught me that discipline was the key to have a successful life.
Sports (cycling in this case) is a lifestyle. It became part of my daily routine. It takes a lot of discipline, planning and in most cases “sacrificing” other pleasant things in order to be able to achieve my personal goals.
MCS – How do you hold your nutrition and hydration while intensive training? Your DO’s and DON’Ts on and off the bike?
E.M: Nutrition is fundamental for a good performance, I had to learn this the hard way (LOL). Now, I make sure I have a high carb meal the night before a hard ride/race (carb loading). During the ride, I drink plenty of electrolytes, salt pills and high glucose solid foods every 45 minutes even if I am not hungry (bars, dried fruits, I LOVE dates). Rest and active recovery is also part of the training – but I have to improve that.
MCS – What was the main challenge in winning the top podium overall at the Suarez Gran Fondo 2023 in Dade city, Florida?
E.M. – To be very honest, I am not very competitive as most cyclists are, BUT – since last year I got 1st place in my age group and 2nd place women’s overall, I had the pressure to defend my title so that added up a little bit of tension during the race. It was very satisfying to overcome last year’s victory. For me, the competition will always go against me.
MCS – How do you supplement and support your beauty by suffering on the bike for hours a day?
Any intakes on Collagen supplementation for women?
E.M – Vitamins are essential constituents of my diet; to support and protect my immune system especially from the constant stress and “harmful” situations I put my body into when training hard. I take Vitamin C, D3 and complex B such as collagen and amino acids.
MCS – What do you enjoy most about cycling? Is there anything you don’t enjoy about it?
E.M. – I love the way cycling makes me feel alive, its therapeutic and my kind of morning meditation. I love the breeze in my face, the adrenaline rush while riding fast and I’m crazy about sunrises and sunsets. That feeling of freedom OMG, is inexplicable.
MCS – Finally, if you could cycle anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
E.M. – My bucket list is to ride in Colombia and Italy, the scenery on both countries is unbelievable (at least in pictures lol) however, I wish one day I could go back to my country (Venezuela) and ride around every little town. In the meantime, I’m very satisfied and grateful to be able to ride every single day in such a beautiful city like Miami.
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