Team Beachbody Top Earners Reward
2011 Team Beachbody Chairman’s Adventure
My wife, Monica and I are independent Team Beachbody coaches, which essentially means we are sales reps for in-home fitness products like P90X, Insanity, and TurboFire, as well as supplements like Shakeology. In 2010, we ranked in the top 10 producers in the company. The reward for Beachbody top earners this year was a cycling trip in the south of France. Amazing, right?
How do you make a good thing better? Go early and see the Tour de France!
We were meeting the Beachbody folks at the Marseilles airport on July 24th. We landed in Geneva on the 15th, which gave us nine days in France prior to the cycling trip. Despite being lovely, Monica was not a big cycling fan prior to this trip. I thought if I could get her to the Tour de France, I could bring her into the fold. That would prove true.
Now, this all came together very quickly. We got the itinerary for the cycling trip in late March and, by then, there was not a hotel room within 45 kilometers of any Tour stop [at least online]. We decided to go from Geneva to Lyon, which is an absolutely lovely city. Amazing food and a very non-tourist atmosphere. I’m lucky that I went to high school in Brussels and speak a little French or we would have been lost.
I examined the Tour stages – and found Stage 19 to Alpe d’Huez pretty enticing. Seriously, no hotels within about 60 kilometers. Further, it was a bit of a tight turnaround to get to Marseilles. Stage 18…The Galibier. The highest ever finish for the Tour and the Queen Stage in 2011. That was it!
A Brush with Greatness
We drove to the tiny town of Le Lauzet-Ubaye, which is within 5 kilometers of the Italian border, and about 45 kilometers south of our viewing destination in Brincon. As I checked into the hole-in-the-wall that they called a hotel room, Monica noticed something posted on the door next to our room.
“What’s this?,” she asked.
“HOLY SHIT!,” I exclaimed. “THESE ARE THE ROOM ASSIGNMENTS FOR GARMIN-CERVELO!!!”
A careful, and rather stealthy, investigation of the hotel would find similar pages for AG2R, FDJ and Katusha. We had stumbled on a Tour hotel in the middle of nowhere. (As a resident of the U.S. and an S2 rider, I am crazy for Garmin-Cervelo!)
That day had finished in Gap and the next day started there. Why, here?
We would soon discover the unfortunate reality. They had been there the night before. SO CLOSE! We pressed on despite my sadness.
Stage 18—Pinerolo & Galibier
We got up around 8 a.m. and made our way to Brincon, a cute little Alpine ski town that the Tour went through twice in 2011 (once for Stage 17 to Pinerelo and once on the way to the Galibier). I really had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to make this easy, so Monica would have fun, and be able to get to Aix-en-Provence that night (a mere 230 kilometers from Brincon). We decided not to climb up to the upper slopes of the Galibier, but instead to find a good spot at the base of the climb (well, sort of).
We found a parking spot in Brincon and headed out on foot. What we encountered was an absolute parking lot headed up to The Galibier…and more brushes with greatness.
As we headed up the road, we found a VIP tent and decided to set up camp there. We couldn’t get into it, but they had a big TV setup, so we could watch the race. Without that, we would have been lost. I would have missed Andy Schleck’s heroic attack and the cards that Leopard Trek would be playing throughout the day. You can see it in the background of this guy doing stunts.
If you have not been to the Tour, the caravan is something to see. It’s absolutely insane – a 100+ mile rolling parade that precedes the riders by about 1-1/2 hours. They roll along, tossing out coupons [highly coveted in France] and various other nicknacks.
Schleck on the Attack
This was an epic stage of the Tour. Andy Schleck knew he needed time on his rivals going into the last day and he went out early on this day to make that happen. At the time, he was riding with a teammate that had been in the break ahead of him trying to catch the lone Astana rider in front of him. There was a massive headwind coming down the valley and it was a brilliant move by Leopard Trek to put two guys up the road in breakaways so they could soft pedal when Schleck made his move.
The amazing thing about being at the Tour is the sheer volume of vehicles involved. There are dozens of cars and motorcycles surrounding the riders. There must have been 10 helicopters in the sky following various parts of the course. Absolutely insane.
The lead pack rolls through:
Here comes the chase pack:
After the last stragglers went through, we headed to a hotel bar and watched Andy Schleck take the stage. It was a bit sad to see him forfeit the Yellow Jersey on the final day in the time trial, but the boy is going to have to learn how to get it done in the TT or he’ll never win. They spent a lot of money organizing Leopard Trek. Perhaps they should have spent more time in the wind tunnel and on the TT course around Grenoble.
A Few Days in Aix-en-Provence
After the madness of the Tour, we decided to head down to Aix-en-Provence for a few days. A little bit touristy, and exceptionally confusing to navigate, but very quaint. The farmers market was outstanding.
The Chairman’s Adventure Begin: La Cabro d’Or
We met up with the other 2011 Top 10 Chairman’s Adventure Trip winners and headed to our first location. La Cabro d’Or is just outside of Les Baux-de-Provence. It’s an amazing little hotel that was a converted farm….charming, to say the least.
The first day, we rode about 65 kilometers. Amazing! A big climb to get things going – followed by a fast and fun descent. Most of the rest of the day was rollers in various different wind conditions.
Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche
The next day we woke up and took about an hour long bus ride to the town of Goult, where we would ride through Lacoste and Bonnieux to arrive in Menerbes. We would ride a 20 kilometer loop, then ride the 40 kilometer ride that everyone else was doing. Seriously, one of the best days in the saddle ever. Here is some proof:
Mind the car!!! It was really the only one I can remember buzzing us the whole time. Good thing I got that on camera.
The Four Season’s was crazy. The room was bigger than the apartment we rent in Coronado for the summers. We would cap that off by celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary with some of our very best friends in a lovely little restaurant. A truly incredible day.
The following day we had our final ride. It was planned for about 70 kilometer, but was cut short due to rain. We made the best of it and charged up an outstanding course with a ton of great hills.
Feeling less than satisfied, Jeff Hill and I played golf at what has to be the longest golf course I’ve ever played.
Chateau de la Chevre d’Or
This hotel was absurdly amazing. Don’t take my word for it, watch this video:
Perched on a hill in Eze, it overlooked parts of Nice and Cap-Farrat and epic bay. Again, the video tells the best story:
This was seriously the most amazing trip of my life. We had a second honeymoon in Lyon, got to see the Queen Stage of the 2011 Tour de France, spent a few days in Aix-en-Provence, then went on a week long epic cycle through the south of France staying in 5-star hotels—all on Beachbody’s dime because Monica and I were Beachbody top earners. Wow.
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