Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Back from Crack Leads to Attack!
Gerlach, 34, who was raised in West Sacramento but now lives in a recovery facility in Auburn, Calif., left cycling in 2002 and lived for five years homeless and in despair in downtown Sacramento.
Few doubted Gerlach had the talent for a successful career at the top level of the sport. He never rode in a grand tour like the Tour de France, but his nine-year pro career took him around the globe.
He won regional events like the Nevada City Classic and he won stages in diverse events like the Tour of China and Tour of Langkawi. He was a U.S. Postal Service teammate of Armstrong in 1996, but was dismissed for “personality conflicts.” Gerlach also rode with high-budget Italian squads and second-tier U.S.-based squads. Many of his coaches gave up, called the talented rider uncoachable.
Amore e Vita goes American
Although still based in Tuscany, Italy, the Amore e Vita-McDonald's team will be registered as a continental team from the US in 2009 and no longer in Poland. Team manager Cristian Fanini has finalized a multi-national 18-man roster including Ukrainian sprint ace Yuriy Metlushenko and former CSC rider and Tour de l'Avenir time trial winner Christian Müller from Germany.
The team will also include American Chad Gerlach, who will make a return to the sport after having declined into drug addiction and homelessness. His story was the subject of a US television programme called "Intervention". Following the show, where troubled people are helped into a recovery regime, Gerlach began training again. The 35-year-old was previously off the bike for six years.
Also joining the team, according to La Nazione, is Roberto Gaggioli as a third directeur sportif.
2009 Amore & Vita roster: Alexey Bauer (Rus), Vladislav Borisov (Rus), Matt Brandt (USA), Phil Cortes (Can), Jaroslaw Dabrowski (Pol), Richard England (Aus), Peter Femal (USA), Graziano Gasparre (Ita), Chad Gerlach (USA), Fabio Gilioli (Ita), Sergey Grechyn (Ukr), Philip Mamos (Ger), Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr), Nathan Miller (USA), Christian Müller (Ger), Soren Nissen (Den), Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr), Andrew Talanski (USA).
Good luck man!!!!