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Tour De Pez: Three Minutes With Gustav Larsson!
Once things had wrapped up at the SaxoBank press conference, Gustav Larsson was one of the guys who’d managed to slip out relatively unseen, giving a pretty laid back interview to Swedish radio … but Pez was waiting and we grabbed a few words with the genial giant.

PEZ: How are the legs? Ready for three weeks of punishment?
Gustav: (Looking down at his legs, laughing!) I hope so! Yeah, I think I’m ready.

PEZ: When did you find out for sure you were going to the Tour, because Nicki Sorensen wasn’t on the list and he just rode so well he forced his way in?
Gustav: The Tour has been on my programme since the winter, so I’ve been working towards it for a long time, and now I’m here, so I’m hoping for a good race.

PEZ: The opening time trial looks like it could be a good course for you … kind of like the one at the Olympics last summer.
Gustav: Yes, the hill is good for me but it’s not as long as the one in Beijing. The opening time trial is an important day, but also the team time trial on Tuesday where we will try to steal some seconds on Astana.

It’s been some time since I saw the course, but we are going out to ride it on Friday so we will be better prepared for the race on Saturday.

PEZ: What’s your job after that … look after the Schlecks?
Gustav: I hope I have my climbing legs because that’s what I really want to be able to do, help Andy and Frank in the high mountains. Last year, Andy had one bad day and he lost a lot of time, but now he is older and I think he has learnt his lesson about that.

PEZ: So you’re happy with the team you’ve got his year?
Gustav: Yes, it’s really strong this year, and I think we can do a very good job.

PEZ: Time to talk about important stuff now … heavy metal ~ picked up any good tunes lately?
Gustav: Yeah! I just bought a huge collection of 80s metal on vinyl, lots of Accept in there. And this winter I built my own speakers. I’ve gone back to analog, and tube amplifiers and everything sounds great. You know, Ozzy Osbourne in particular sounds even better on vinyl for some reason.

There’ll be more to come on Gustav’s love of heavy metal later on this Tour so stay tuned!

Two days from the Grand Depart, and most riders just want to talk about things other than the Tour to take their minds off the coming three weeks, so I think it’s no surprise that Gustav was more than happy to talk music. After ending our quick chat on a musical high note (music … high note, get it?), I just wished Gustav a safe and successful trip round France.


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