Fabio Aru insists he will work extremely hard to reach the level of his idol Alberto Contador and continue challenging at Grand Tours.
Aru was beaten to the 2015 Giro d'Italia title by the Tinkoff rider but claimed his first Grand Tour success at the Vuelta a Espana in September.
Contador recently tipped the 25-year-old, who will be Astana's lead rider while making his Tour de France debut in 2016, for further glory in the future, something which he revelled in.
"First of all Alberto is my idol. When someone like him congratulates you, you just have to be proud and keep giving it all to improve," Aru told Omnisport.
"Contador is a special person who teaches you many things when you talk to him.
"When I had the chance to spend some time with him I was able to use all his tips. I thank him for those.
"Alberto won many Grand Tours. In the last years he's been the number one. I will try to give my best in order to emulate some of his attacks and victories.
"Everyone has his own style and character, but I am pleased he holds me in high esteem."