Who: Thierry Attias, 47, of Alameda
What: He’s an Oakland bike shop owner (Cycle Sports) who, along with his friend and business partner Greg Raifman, owns one of the world’s top professional cycling teams — United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team.
When: Attias and Raifman formed the team and Momentum Sports Group LLC after sitting down with a group of pro cyclists and brainstorming. “When you own a bike shop, you have a lot of groups of clients coming in and
you support them. Bike clubs want sponsors. It kind of got my gears going.”
Where: United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team is competing on four continents in the 2011 season, which began in January. The largest cycling event in America is the Amgen Tour of California May 15–22, a Tour de France–style cycling road race with stages in Livermore and San Jose.
Why: Even though Attias, himself, was never a racer, he was always an enthusiast. In the late ’90s he owned three bike shops until he consolidated efforts to make time for his family. Today, his wife and three kids love to bike together. “Where we live there are some fantastic bike trails. On the weekend we do a nice little loop — Harbor Bay Parkway, Shoreline Drive and the naval air base.”
How: “We have branch managers that run the team. We pull the strings from the home office, making sure the funding and the back end of operating a business is taken care of.” Attias
says he and his partner work well together. “I know the cycling world and Greg knows the business world.”