World road champion Giorgia Bronzini has expressed her regret that women's cycling hasn't grown in popularity in spite of a rise in its quality, especially in Italy.
"There's a bit of anger and also some regret [when I compare women's cycling to men's cycling]," Bronzini told Tg5. "For at least the last four years, Italian women's cycling has showcased great things, but the environment hasn't grown as much as its athletes have done."
Bronzini took the rainbow jersey in October with a rapid sprint finish in Geelong, Australia. She had already finished third in 2007 and admitted that her shout as she crossed the line was one of liberation. However, the Piacenza woman was also keen to highlight that hers was a team victory.
"I looked for my teammates straightaway to thank them because once again the Italian women's team showed that together we can do a lot of things," she said. "Cycling should not only be viewed as an individual sport. As far as I'm concerned, the team is important."
Bronzini also revealed the story behind her trademark lip piercing and explained that she is likely to keep it for the rest of her career.
"I got it done in Los Angeles, in Hollywood," Bronzini said. "It was at one of the first track World Cup meets that I competed in and I'd promised myself that if I won a medal I'd get a piercing and that's how it turned out.
"I don't know [when I'll take it out]. Maybe when I stop racing, it's a bit of a lucky charm."