How did you get started?
I was only five when I fought to get in a mountain bike race. The organizer didn't want me because I was too young (only 5 while I needed to be older than 6). However, I started crying so they allowed me to race and I won solo. My brothers were also racing there, and I just wanted to do the same as them and the pro riders that I used to follow on TV.
Sports or clubs participated in before cycling:
I've tried a lot of sports; basketball, but I was the only girl, volleyball, skating, track and field. I won some swimming races in my province, but my shoulders were “overgrowing” and I didn't like it.
What are you passionate about off the bike:
Cooking, that's my life besides cycling.
Favorite way to spend downtime:
I like to cook whatever is light or healthy and I also like having walks with my dogs, playing piano or painting my nails.
Best pro cycling memories that had nothing to do with winning a race:
That would be Fleche Wallone in 2012. It was my first World Cup, and I was still going to school so I couldn't train that much. My expectations were low, and I don't know how I stayed with the front group after the first Huy (notoriously steep climb) with only 30kms to go. From that moment, I decided to follow my idol, Marianne Vos, and I remember I was right on her wheel when she attacked on a climb in the last 5kms. I even didn't try to react for a while, because I was thinking about me being there when she was attacking.
That was really amazing for me!
One thing Rossella loves about our sport:
I love the fact that you have to go the extra mile to get your goal, and I mean that without sacrifice you will never get to the top. Every day is important and every moment in the race is important. You really have to look for perfection to get the win sometimes.
One thing she'd love to see change for the better about cycling:
What I don't like is the people who don't respect the other riders or the sport--by doping.