Blazin' Saddles

Rooney’s hate for Landis

Blazin' Saddles

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Apologies to all two-wheeled racing fans who can't stand football - and don't worry, Saddles will get on to Cav's spitting incident in good time - but top news this week comes in the shape of Wayne Rooney's personal vendetta against a disgraced former US cyclist.

Football's Andre Greipel (well, neither are exactly lookers are they?) was pictured this week with the words "FCUK U" scrawled across the instep of one golf shoe and "FLOYD" across the other.

The bizarre sartorial statement made by Rooney - currently not scoring goals for England at the World Cup in South Africa - set media tongues wagging.

Could it be a show of support for his podgy boxing friend Ricky Hatton, who lost to American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jnr back in 2007? Or a jab towards former footballer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink?

Well, it's neither of these. Blazin' Saddles can now exclusively confirm that the Manchester United hitman holds a profound disliking of testosterone-guzzling, EPO-injecting, soup-spitting, fake hip-wearing Floyd Landis.

Saddles can reveal in this hallowed blog that Rooney's simmering hatred of Landis stems from his growing close friendship with Lance Armstrong, whose two autobiographical tomes both sit on the footballer's bedside table alongside his copy of Barack Obama's 'Dreams from My Father' and Katie Price's historical study of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, 'Being Jordan'.

Wayne and Lance met through their mutual friend Ben Stiller on the set of the film Dodgeball, in which the English football star was an unattributed stunt adviser.

Rooney, Lance and Ben have been known to dine together at Planet Hollywood and there is even talk of the Scouse goal machine starring in the Dodgeball sequel.

Saddles can disclose that Rooney has been greatly riled by Landis's latest attempts to drag his former team-mate through the dirt.

"Wayne and Lance are inseparable and Wayne sees any attack on his friend as an attack on him," said the player's agent, Mr Tim Percent. "Floyd Landis better watch out because after the World Cup, Wayne has a score to settle."

Rooney refused to talk to reporters about the message on his boots and when pressed about his wife Coleen, he said: "It's not about the bike."

SPITTING WITH RAGE: The graphic pictures of the dramatic pile-up at the end of stage four of the Tour de Suisse - a shower of road rash, flying bikes, tears and grimaces - make a mockery of the sporting endeavours going on in South Africa, where footballers roll around clasping their faces and clutching the ankles after the most minimal of contact with an opponent's little finger.

Is there any sport as dangerous and as precariously balanced on a knife edge as cycling in the closing stages of a high-speed bunch sprint? Surely not.

The crash involved as its main protagonists two sprinters slowly returning to form after testing starts to the season: Mark Cavendish and Heinrich Haussler.

It's no secret that Saddles has always had a soft spot for Heiny while also harbouring consistent incredulity at Cav's lamentable behaviour amongst his peers - but he's got to echo Robbie McEwen in stressing that Cav crossed a line on Tuesday.

Crashes are always going to happen but they leave a sour taste in the mouth when caused by a rider bearing no regard for the safety of himself or others.

Yes, the whole peloton - including the German Kangaroo - was all over the place but it was Cavendish's sudden deviation into Haussler's path that caused his wheel to snap and the subsequent bloodbath that saw a handful of riders have to retire from the race.

Ok, we all know that Cav is competitive and it's not in his nature to admit defeat - but any true man would have held his hands up and taken responsibility for his actions.

Not Cav, who, when Haussler quite rightly confronted him after the incident, thought it was bang within his rights to spit on the ground by the Cervelo rider. Classy. And the Manxman couldn't even blame it on the heat of the moment, for not once did he apologise for his actions once things had calmed down.

Fair play to Cavendish: he walked away from the crash with the worst wounds he'd ever received in racing and still turned up at the start of the next day's stage.

Greeting him, however, was a peloton of very unhappy riders who took to it that Cavendish is now probably the first rider in history to be the target of a pre-race demonstration.

"The one-minute delay at the start today was a signal from his peers that what happened yesterday, the spitting incident after the crash in particular, is not acceptable and I'm sure he understands the message," said McEwen.

Are you sure, Robbie, because Saddles isn't? The problem is that Cav clearly won't understand the message. If history is to be believed, Cav is someone who never takes anything - even worthy criticism - on board. Give it a few more weeks or months and we'll be talking about his next indiscretion - it's that inevitable.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Cycling is the only sport that step-by-step, day-by-day, year-by-year, but especially stupidity-after-stupidity seems to be set on its own destruction." So wrote one Spanish journalist following RadioShack's unexpected snub at this year's Vuelta - a decision which left Johan Bruyneel "surprised and speechless" and caused Lance Armstrong to tweet "Ouch".

If you don't follow Blazin' Saddles on he will knock you off your bike and spit in your general direction in disdain.

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