Monday, March 30, 2009

Empower Coaching Systems in the Press!

Bausch & Sparks unite to Empower cyclists

Veteran coaches join forces to provide Olympic-level coaching for athletes of all
abilities uniquely utilizing a methodology that stresses mind & body balance

They’ve raced at the highest level and coached athletes who have competed at the highest level. Now Dotsie Bausch and Andy Sparks have united to form Empower Coaching Systems ( that will create customized training programs for cyclists of all abilities – from professionals, Olympians, World Champions and National Champions to amateur racers, weekend warriors and newbies. Together the dynamic duo will coach each athlete providing a unique, dualistic fusion of guidance specifically tailored to the individual that will be rooted in fostering the development of mind and body symmetry that can be applied both on the bike and beyond.

Empower Coaching Systems, whose client list includes two-time World Champion and Olympian Sarah Hammer, World Champion and two-time Olympian Jennie Reed and National Champions Jimmy Watkins, Chris DeMarchi and Sonia Ross, will strive to provide the highest quality of service no matter what level the athlete rides in the belief that everyone should have access to Olympic-level coaching to aid in reaching their full potential. Driven to watch their clients achieve their goals, ECS aims to establish the premiere standard of coaching services in the cycling industry. In addition to the innovative physical training regimen they will design as part of each client’s Victory Plan, their methodology includes focusing on sports psychology and meditation. Three levels of Victory Plans – Victory Fitness, Victory Performer and Victory Racer - are available based upon the commitment, goals and budget of the cyclist. Every coaching package provides unlimited access to the coaches via phone and/or email. Although Bausch and Sparks are based in Southern California, they will coach cyclists from all over the globe as they have done successfully in their individual coaching businesses prior to forming their partnership.

Twice named USA Cycling’s Coach of the Year and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track Cycling coach, Sparks said, “The Empower Coaching Systems training methodologies, which emphasize both mental and physical performance, have achieved three World Championships titles in the past three years. As a coach who has developed riders at all levels, I believe that for athletes to fully maximize their ability, they should have Olympic-level coaching and an Olympic-level performance team. That is what we provide at Empower Coaching Systems. We deliver the same level of technology and research, and the same knowledge, intensity and focus that the top privileged athletes in the world receive. In addition, our methodologies have proven to have an enormous impact on the lives of our clients beyond their bicycles. We feel that achieving our clients’ goals begins with building winning attitudes that carry over to all aspects of our athletes’ lives.” Cyclists under Sparks’ guidance have won 15 World Cup medals and a trophy case full of National Championships.

A former National Champion and a Pan Am Championships gold medal winner, Bausch is in her eighth year of racing professionally and has been coaching for five years. She was a member of the U.S. National Team and has competed in the biggest races around the world for professional teams including T-Mobile, Colavita-Sutter Home and Jazz Apple, her present squad. “While our hope is to grow Empower Coaching Systems into a large on-line training facility with multiple coaches offering an array of ideas, innovative thinking and brazenly developed training programs, our coaches will always be committed to providing first-class service of unrivaled quality that will cater to dynamic and diverse individuals who demand the best from their coaches,” declared Bausch. “Andy and I possess a deep love of personal coaching and have experienced great successes with our athletes. We are excited to bring together our shared beliefs and values and approach the athlete/coach dynamic differently than anyone has before. Our approach is cutting-edge and we firmly believe in its genesis and its mission.”

Bausch also hopes that the Empower Coaching Systems’ website will blossom into an “Empower Culture” destination. “I want the site to be a place that people visit regularly and utilize as a helpful and informative resource. We’ll be posting new tips frequently in the Recovery section. Each month, the coaches will select an ‘Athlete of the Month.’ In our blog, we’ll post photos, news and the latest findings from our cutting-edge research. We’d love for the site to be like a coaching café with an abundance of information to help guide and inspire our athletes.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Empower Coaching's Chris Demarchi WINS Overall at San Dimas Stage Race!

Chris Demarchi's dream of winning a major stage race this year came true as he took the overall win along with a SWEEP of all 3 jerseys, the polka dot, green sprinters and the YELLOW! Congratulations to Chris. All of your dedication and hard work has paid off! Also, Congrats to Team Amgen-Giant, for they displayed exemplary team work to take Chris to the line every time. Read Chris' race report below:

San Dimas Stage Race, where only the best come out to play and you can expect fearless competition at all levels.

Day one:  The hill climb

The day starts with me finding out the Thurlow is under the weather and Gus was a DNF for the start due to his crash in Murrieta.  I was thinking to myself, I am totally prepared to work my butt off for these guys this weekend, but now I am going to have to go after it and put in a special ride to put the Amgen / Giant team name somewhere in the top 10 leader board.

I did my fastest ride ever 15:06.  1 minute down on Tony from rock that has beat my twice this year in hilly road races.  This put me in 5th place going into the road race.

Day two:  The Road Race

This day started with Thurlow laying out a game plan to attack, attack, attack the yellow jersey and where him down, then have me sit in and grab as much time as I could.  My TEAMMATES ARE AWESOME!!!  One after another they attacked and attacked hard.  There goes Thurlow, now Kirk, now Gil, now Anthony, now Thurlow again and so on.  Bruce was protecting his spot and I was watching The yellow jersey dismantle before my eyes.  From Lap one I hit everyone’s legs up the big climb of the day.  I was well rested because my TEAMMATES ARE AWESOME, so I would punch it up and over the hill to hurt the group.  Before I knew it, I was grabbing the KOM points.  Then Thurlow goes again and makes the Yellow chase.  As we are coming up on the time bonus, Thurlow clearly could of got the 10 seconds, but NO.  He starts coasting because he saw me barreling down to grab the precious 10 seconds.  The man trusted me enough to get those points. (Thank you).  This went on till 2 π laps to go.  At that point, I looked at the yellow jersey and he was clearly suffering.  It was time to GO!!  With another huge effort we had a minute gap on the yellow and a pretty organized group.  That was all she wrote.  Gil was with me and Gave me every bit he had left to drive the break. I made a deal with Paolanetti to start helping to drive the break and I would give him the win. (again Thurlow’s idea before the race)(that man has some serious skill to pre read a race)  Jaime got the win and I rolled in right behind him 3 minutes ahead of the yellow.  The plan worked perfect because of MY AWESOME TEAMMATES.

I was now in yellow, green, and pokidots.  Totally amazing!!

Day Three:  The Crit

Today was the day for me to rely on my team again.  They kept everything under control and kept the tempo just right.  I got second in the first time bonus, but Jaime got first, this put him down 7 seconds to me.  This is where I did not panic, but told myself that my team has done everything they can to put me in the winner’s circle, Now it was my time to make it all right.  I was probably talking out load to myself at this point, telling myself that I will win this Criterium, that I am going to be in my 53/11 when I take the final turn, and not touch my breaks. The only thing I was going to do was lay down the wattage until I hit that Line.  I got the win and within seconds had a slew of emotion run through my body. (every one of you know what I was feeling) my dream, my goal came true!!

As a team we got the win

We got the leaders jersey

We go the sprinters Jersey

We got the pokidots Jersey

We got the total respect of the field.

Awesome job to all of my Teammates and A big thank you to all my teammates who stayed to support and congratulate us when we crossed the line.  My team Rocks!!!!!!

Chris DeMarchi

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the Comeback Trail

Empower Athlete Sarah Hammer scores win #5 of her comeback at the Tour de Murrieta.

In a large women’s field that included several top riders, Sarah notched another “W” by wrapping up the overall win at the Tour de Murrieta. The Tour de Murrieta victory gives Sarah her fifth win since her comeback from an injury plagued Olympic year where she finished 5th at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Next up on her racing schedule will be the big-money Long Beach criterium on April 4th as well as the NRC Dana Point criterium on April 26th. After these races Sarah will be transitioning to her first major competition of the year, the Pan-American Championships, in May.

Wish her luck as she heads towards future podiums!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Track Superstar Jennie Reed Announces Retirement

Empower superstar athlete and reigning Keirin World Champion, Jennie Reed, has announced her retirement. The big question: Will she come back if the women's Keirin is announced as a new Olympic event?

We will miss you Jennie! She is a true American track legend. (Interview courtesy of
Jennie Reed was among the international top sprinters for more then a decade, consistently being on the podium in the UCI World Cup competitions. In 2008 she eventually won her well deserved rainbow jersey in the Keirin and also adding a World Championship bronze medal in the match sprint to her collection. Now, Jennie has decided to retire and RadSprint is talking with her about her long and successful career.

RadSprint: 2008 was your best year ever. Congratulations! After Beijing the world didn't hear much from you and now we learned that you have decided to retire. What was behind this decision?

Jennie: First of all, Thanks! 2008 was by far one my most accomplished years and also the most enjoyable. Funny this is, I was about to retire at the end of 2007, when Andy Sparks and Sarah Hammer motivated me to attend a women's team pursuit camp. I had so much fun doing something different and it turned in to working with Andy. It really just all fell in to place last year with Howard Marans sponsoring Momentum Cycling and having the right set up for training. I was enjoying myself more than ever racing, but I just had the feeling inside that when the year was over, I would be done. I always wondered if I would get that gut feeling about when to retire, and I did, and listened to it. I felt like I had experienced everything that I wanted to in sport and I was no longer inspired to do it again. I really was ready for new experiences in life. It was a great way to end on such an incredible year though.

RadSprint: Let's talk some more about 2008. Tell us about the World Championships and how you achieved your biggest success. You had already great form in January and February - winning silver medals at the world cups in Los Angeles in Copenhagen. How did you manage to get in even better shape for worlds?

Jennie: You know I had a lot of people around me that were tremendously supportive and believed in what I could achieve. In fact, I get emotional thinking about it because remembering back to some training sessions, my coach Andy Sparks and his fiancé Sarah Hammer would start talking about how I was just going to smash everyone and Win Worlds!

It took me a while to really believe it and go for it. It really came together for me the last year and a half. I tried some new things in training that I had never done before. My strength since I was 18 was getting up to top speed and holding on and I just really trained that the last year. I was so motivated in training that it seemed easy at times. I had such an awesome training group. I just thrived on the energy that was in the track from Sarah, Dotsie, Andy and Dr. Kay (OUCH Team sponsor). The momentum carried throughout the year and I just got stronger and faster as the training continued. By the time Worlds came around, I was riding bigger gears and I was really clear in my head. I wasn't scared of losing. Instead, I was in the moment and ready to challenge myself to see what I could do. I never felt so good and supported in my whole career as I did at the Worlds.

RadSprint: Next stop were the Olympic Games. Unfortunately the "mask incident" created the most press for the US track cycling team. Eventually USOC chief of sport performance Steve Roush lost his job over the affair. Now more than half a year later, how do you reflect on the whole story?

Jennie: I still see it as just a "crazy" incident that happened. It really took me a while just to realize what it was that the USOC was upset about! It kind of came up on me and hit me in the side of the head and I didn't see it coming or understand what was going on. I was trying to have the best performance and was told that wearing the mask would help prevent me from getting sick. It got really blown out of proportion. I was really disappointed that no one supported us during the incident. USA Cycling hid behind USOC like a little kid getting punished and it was embarrassing frankly. It's one of those things where they tell you that you didn't do anything wrong, but they won't speak up for you or support you. It really made me view the Olympic Games differently. It made me feel that it is more about politics than about sport.

RadSprint: Had all of this an impact on the racing at the Games?

Jennie: As most people know, so many things can impact performance and of course it affected me. It's always a question of how much. The initial stress was hard but what really affected me was the lack of team after the incident. I felt that everyone sort of went in to survival mode and either formed opinions about it or just didn't know what to do, but the team feeling was gone. It wasn't a good formula for my success and I ended up getting a bad respiratory infection. I've always been a very resilient person and I still enjoyed myself though. I gave it the best I knew how and was proud considering the circumstance.

RadSprint: Any good memories of Beijing?

Jennie: The memories that really stand out are the friendships I formed with other athletes. I met some great people that I will be friends with for a lifetime.

RadSprint: How did Beijing compare to Athens, your first Olympic Games?

Jennie: I think my first Olympics will always be the most special. I had some difficult years leading in to Athens. I was training in Europe and was struggling to find any form and didn't feel a lot of support from people. I finally believed in what I knew and listened to myself, regardless of what everyone else's opinions where. I learned a lot about myself that year. I knew that if I wanted to make it to the Olympics, I was the only one that could make that happen.

RadSprint: But let's have a look at the beginning. When did you start cycling and racing? And how did you arrive at the track?

Jennie: I started racing two weeks before my 16th Birthday. My dad had started cycling for recreation and he introduced my sister, Laura and I to it. One of the first times, my dad asked my sister and I to go for a ride with him which was to ride 60 miles up to our ski cabin! I wasn't going to have any part of that but my sister, Laura, went. She started to get in to racing and would beg me to go training with her. I finally caved in and went but I still didn't like it that much. It wasn't until I did a mountain bike race and won a "free certificate" to a track class that I was hooked! I always did better at the shorter distances, so I loved the track. From then on, I started racing and qualified for the Junior Worlds. I was only going to do it on the junior level, until I got a phone call from Andrzej Bek (National Sprint Coach at the time). He said he saw me at the Juniors and thought I should be a sprinter and join the National Team! It all started because of that.

RadSprint: You had your first success as in elite sprinter in 1998/99 on the national and international level. 2000 and 2001 you didn't have much on your palmares. These were also the years of Tammy Thomas, who tested positive for the anabolic norbolethone in the 2002/03 season, was banned for life and was later convicted of perjury. What's your take of all of this from today's perspective?

Jennie: I actually got fourth place at the World Championships in 2000, but since they were after the Olympics, I don't think people would remember. I wasn't selected for Olympics in 2000, but I did have a great year. In fact I set my personal record in the 200m in 11.10 sec that year! Tammy was around those years and I remember being told by a coach that "the US had their female sprinters already." I did affect me not being selected for all of the World Cups and such, but really she didn't affect my ability to perform. It was unfortunate what decisions she made because she was a really nice person, but it was frustrating for me to see her do so well in 2001, taking the silver medal at the Worlds. I had been working so hard and I actually told her straight after she got the medal that I didn't respect her medal! I've always been straight forward I guess.

RadSprint: After that, let's lighten up a bit. Tell us some funny stories and about some embarrassing moments!

Jennie: Geez, that's probably not too hard to do because I seem to do that a lot! The all time funniest story is back in 1999. We had done a World Cup in Italy or something and then on the way home we got stuck in Brussels. We were going to have to spend the night cause there was only one flight at 6pm daily. We had already been through quite a bit, trying to find connections, so the team was going to get a bus to a nearby hotel. Well, I was really hungry and decided to get a bite to eat in the airport with my teammate Marcelo. Andrzej Bek was the coach and he said, "Fine, if you want to do that then you'll have to find your way to the hotel if the bus comes while you're not here." I agreed and said not a problem, but when the time came and I wasn't there by the time the bus was there, Andrzej was "furious!" Marcello was scared and Andrzej blew up on us. He started turning red and yelling about how, 'he didn't care if we hadn't slept for one week or eaten for one week or taken "shit" for one week, that we shouldn’t leave the group! I lost it when he said the last thing and I started laughing so hard I couldn't control it and I fell to the ground, still laughing! Marcello said he thought he saw steam coming from Andrzej! Marcelo just told me that he was soo glad it was me laughing and not him! We still joke about that today!

Another embarrassing moment was in 2000. I was racing a World Cup in Mexico and was riding in the Bronze medal match against Aussie Michelle Ferris. The race was important for Olympic selection and therefore I really wanted to beat her. I had never beat her before and won the first match. In the second one I was going down the back straight and wanted it so bad that I got out of the saddle and was just giving it and when I sat down I put my whole body in to it. As I was sitting down I hit my forehead on my stem and I almost took myself out! My helmet was straight back on my head, but I didn't care cause I won! It was soo embarrassing though!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

EmpowerCoachingSystems.Com is a Go!

We have just finished up some last minute changes to the site and are excited to unveil:

Check it out!