Larsson lengthens Saxo Bank deal

Sweden's Gustav Larsson will continue to ride for Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank-IT Factory squad in 2009,...

Sweden's Gustav Larsson will continue to ride for Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank-IT Factory squad in 2009, after renewing his contract with the Danish team. The 28 year-old will ride with the outfit for the next three years under the new contract.

"First of all it's very reassuring for me to know that I'm going to be here for the next three years as well," Larsson told "I've had a perfect year with the team and I get on great with my team-mates and the crew behind. I'm looking forward to develop even further and even though I've had a good season it's important to me not to loose momentum.

"I need to set myself new goals and continue to improve," he added. "Hopefully I'll be good enough to make the Tour line-up next year."

Larsson enjoyed a strong season in 2008 which included claiming victory on the team's home soil at the Post Danmark Rundt's Stage five and also finishing runner-up to team-mate Fabian Cancellara in the Beijing Olympic Games' Individual Time Trial. The rider also took a swag of podium finishes, notably at the Deutschland Tour and Critérium International.

"Gustav has been a valuable asset to our team this year and his results have been great from beginning to end," said Riis. "Besides being a true time trial specialist he's also proven himself to be extremely powerful in the mountains, which he demonstrated with a great effort for the team up front during the toughest climbs in the Giro.

"He's got the potential to go far in the stage races and it's always a pleasure to extend with a rider, who delivers such brilliant results all the way through the season," he added. "It shows great determination, which is why we've chosen to extend Gustav's contract for three years."

Spanish team Caisse d'Epargne announced Gustav's arrival in September, but a deal was never finalised.

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