It’s been something of a tradition here at VeloNews to start the month of April with things a bit skewed from the normal. In the past, on April 1st, we’ve fired Patrick O’Grady, revealed the development of new mag-lev wheel bearings, declared Dick Pound to be head of the UCI (with Hein Verbruggen taking the helm of WADA) and scorched the French countryside with fatally flawed sunflowers that perfectly match the color of the Maillot Jaune. Yup, it’s April Fool’s Day.
This morning we announced the establishment of the Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney sperm and egg bank for those parents who want to take a short-cut to raising a world champion. Some of you spotted it for what it was (“Thanks for carrying on a fun tradition … and don’t sign me up for a Phinney-Carpenter kid; I don’t want my four-year-old dropping me on family rides!” writes one observant reader), while others got suckered in (“I have the utmost respect for what Carpenter and Phinney accomplished on the bike over their careers … but, are these people completely crazy?” writes another).
Just for the record,
- Carpenter and Phinney are not starting a “champions’ factory”
- Michael Ball is not trying to buy time, nor is OJ Simpson his spokesman.
- OBRA is not going to ban Astana
- ASO hasn’t banned radios… yet.
- And we’re not reverting to a site plan that is based on the needs of those with 14.4kbs modems… really.
We got more than 200 emails, some from the appreciative, some from the outraged and some from those who suggest we leave the comedy to The Onion. We’ll run a selection of the best, tomorrow.
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Carpenter and Phinney start new venture
It’s all about the genes
By Leonardo Zinn
In a move that could redefine the peloton of the future, Olympians Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney have launched a new company designed to offer prospective parents the opportunity to raise their own potential champions.
The couple formally filed incorporation papers for the Colorado-based sperm and egg bank, PC Olympic Genes, on April 1 and are expected to start filling orders “the minute the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.”
Carpenter, the 1984 Olympic road gold medalist and former world pursuit champion and her husband, an Olympic bronze medalist, 1986 and 1987 Tour de France stage winner and winningest American male cyclist of all time, said the couple saw the potential for a new and lucrative business.
“Davis and I had the idea,” said Carpenter, “but the credit for the inspiration really belongs to Taylor.”
The couple’s son, 17-year-old Taylor Phinney, ended the recent World Cup season tied for the points lead in the 4000-meter professional individual pursuit standings, won the 2007 junior world time trial championship, and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing in the individual pursuit.
“We know it’s not an entirely new idea,” said Davis Phinney. “Robert Graham tried the same concept in the 1980s with the ‘Nobel Sperm Bank.’ He had some success, and he had just as many problems. We think the concept is sound, but the genetic make-up of a successful athlete is much easier to understand than might be the elements that combine to produce a Nobel laureate.”
Prospective parents can expect to pay on the order of $250,000 for either Carpenter’s eggs or Phinney’s sperm to be combined in vitro with sperm or eggs of the prospective parents. However, for a cool million dollars, prospective parents can get both Carpenter’s eggs and Phinney’s sperm to be combined in vitro together to produce an offspring with a superior gene profile undiluted by lesser genes of either parent.
“It’s literally a no-brainer for couples who want champion children,” says PC Olympic Genes spokesman Felix Magowan and former CEO of the now-defunct Inside Communications, Inc. “Look at their records. Individually, they were each multi-faceted athletes. That suggests that, in addition to hard work and training, they each have a remarkable genetic makeup. In combination, the possibilities are literally endless… at 17, Taylor has shown just a glimmer of that.”
Magowan points out that both Phinney and Carpenter won the Coors Classic overall titles and both fared well in other endurance events. Despite those abilities as endurance athletes, Carpenter won her Olympic gold in a sprint and Phinney won two Tour stages in sprints.
“There’s a reason Davis was literally known as ‘Cash Register Phinney,’” Magowan added. “They guy was a helluva sprinter, ya know. They both have an optimal combination of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. Their son’s nickname is ‘All Twitch,’ and it’s obvious why. We’re confident that other parents would literally want their children to have that kind of musculature.”
The frozen specimens come in a metal dewar fully charged for three weeks with liquid nitrogen. Normal shipping is provided via two-day air service, while overnight, next-day, Hawaii, Alaska and international shipping services are all extra.
Orders placed before noon will be shipped on the same day, while a special late order charge will guarantee same-day service for orders placed after noon as well.
“We provide great service,” says Carpenter, when describing a new business direction for the couple.
“We were ready for a change,” says Phinney. “We’ve been putting on our Carpenter-Phinney bike camps (www.bikecamp.com) for 20 years, and while they’ve been lots of fun, they don’t make us the kind of money we expect to make from this.”
Phinney went on to say that prospective parents should not just be narrowly focused on the potential athletic prowess of the offspring conceived using their donated specimens – that style, not just substance would be part of the package.
“Hey, we’ve lived in Italy for many years, and we know how to dress sharply and make una bella figura,” he says. “While our customers’ babies may not pop out speaking the language of love, we’re pretty certain they’ll never be caught dead wearing all-white Lycra shorts.”
For further information and complete pricing, visit www.pcolympicgenes.com. Care to comment on this or other stories? Send a letter to WebLetters@InsideInc.com.
(Editor’s Note: Recent interest in PC Olympic Genes Inc. has resulted in an unanticipated number of web hits on the company’s site. Efforts are now underway to upgrade the company’s server. If you encounter difficulty in reaching the site, the company suggests that you try again later. Your patience is appreciated.)
Care to comment on this or other stories? Send a letter to WebLetters@InsideInc.com.