Richie Porte followed up his Paris-Nice win with victory at the Volta a Catalunya and the 30-year-old says it now gives him the confidence to attack the Giro head on

Richie Porte admits his win at the Volta a Catalunya has boosted his confidence ahead of his tilt at the Giro d’Italia title in May and says he’s thirsty for more victories.

The Australian currently leads the UCI WorldTour rankings, having triumphed at both Paris-Nice and Catalunya, coming off the back of a frustrating 2014 season that was marred by illness and injury.

In an interview with Cyclingtips.au, Porte said the win in Spain has given him the belief that he can go on and challenge the likes of Alberto Contador in the Italian mountains when the Giro starts on May 9.

“Obviously it’s a massive confidence boost. I’ve been dedicated for the last five or so months, getting my health back to where it needs to be but also working on weight and things like that, which is pretty crucial as a bike rider,” he said.

“If my season was to finish now I’ve already had an incredible season but I want more. I want to hit the Giro and take these guys on on these longer climbs.

“It’s one thing to win Paris-Nice where everybody said it wasn’t a strong field…but to go to Catalunya and win the race on a parcours that didn’t suit me? It’s given me a bit more belief in my ability at the moment.”

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Porte was due to lead Team Sky in the Italian Grand Tour last year, but was forced to withdraw after suffering with gastroenteritis in the spring. But the 30-year-old is back to full health and will be supported by the likes of Leopold Koenig, Vasil Kiryienka and David Lopez at the Giro this time around and admits that a top-three finish is his minimum expectation.

“A podium is massive, let’s not lose sight of that,” he said. “For me it’s all about the podium and as high up that podium as it can be.”