The year of the comeback. Lance. Floyd. Ivan.
A powerful rider in the 90’s and early 2000, Chad Gerlach was a cycling success as a junior, through the ranks and then as a pro eventually racing on the US Postal team. Known as a partier and uncoachable, his talent was undeniable but ran a close second to his uncanny ability to piss people off.
When Chad’s attitude and party plans started getting in the way of his racing as well as an ongoing feud with teammate and golden child Lance Armstrong, Chad was released from his contract and bounced from pro and elite teams for the next year. As his professional life started crashing around him, his personal life followed suit. His best friend had been stabbed to death and pushed Chad to the brink. He gave up on racing and his life plummeted into alcohol abuse and drug addiction.
From Intervention Episode 64
Chad, 34, was once a pro-cyclist at the top of his game. After a difficult divorce by his parents and a troubled childhood that sent him to juvenile hall for nine months for felony arson, Chad needed direction.
His father introduced him to cycling at age 15, and Chad had a natural gift. Chad went pro almost immediately and cycled on the same team as Lance Armstrong for the United Sates Postal Service. After getting kicked off the team for ”personality conflicts”, Chad was crushed. He started to dabble with drugs and alcohol while racing on smaller teams. As his drug use grew, his racing took a back seat until he quit altogether to do drugs full time.
Chad is now homeless on the streets of Sacramento, California, panhandling, smoking crack cocaine, and drinking alcohol all day. He does not shower and he sleeps in a deserted lot. The only thing of value he owns is a beat up dirt bike that gets him around, from corner to corner, crack house to crack house. Chad’s family can’t believe their once successful, athletic son has given it all up to crack. Their many efforts to get him off the streets have failed. Their last hope is an intervention.
Intervene they did.
Chad Gerlach has pushed through rehab, found the love for his family and the bike once again. He signed with VeloVie Pro squad for the 2009 season.
Come back, indeed.