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PAIN OR PLEASURE? Trans Provence Finale

<b>Nico Lau needed to make up 4-seconds today and he made up 5. NFG to throw mid-stage whips for the media. After 6 days of racing, he won the 2013 Trans Provence by a one, single second!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Jerome Clementz threw a big wallride/whip about two seconds later, probably costing him the win. He solidified his legend status in our books, however, so maybe that'll make up for it.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Ash Smith giving the usual, early morning route briefing. This time from Col Du Champs</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Six days and Jerome Clementz only one second off the win. On Stage 3 today, he had a big crash that could of been the factor.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Two champs. Nico Lau and Jerome Clementz.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Anka Martin of Juliana Bicycle has climbed many steps in her racing career but none more important than the top step of the 2013 Trans-Provence podium! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Like lambs to the slaughter. Mark Weir's lamb chops cut a swathe through the flock of sheep that would bring silence to many a lamb! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Al Stock studies the route maps for the first time at the Rubion Bike Park on day 4 of TP2013. An hour later he was horribly lost! #HowHardCanItbe Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Some people call it a bike park, but if you look closely or differently you can make it look like a rad, natural track! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>While the XC pro pushes up the climbs, the Enduro World Series winner rides up, full face and all! Mind games being played all the time! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>From "I Believe I Can Fly" to "Take My Breath Away," the tunes were being pumped out on the liaison between Special Stage 3 & 4 on Thursday. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Fabien Barel on one of the greasy stages earlier in the week. Third in the final GC.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Seb Ramsey, a renowned journalist in the mainstream and MTB media, not afraid to lay it on the line on some big exposure.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>The photographers on the TP have as big a challenge as the racers. Substituting two liters of water each day with 10 kgs of camera gear and pedaling all the stages. Gary Perkin Legend #1.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Todd Seplavy rode his heart out this week...for himself and Michael Bonney. We salute you! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Riding bikes is all about representing for friends that can't be on the trail with us today. Todd and Stu rode for Michael Bonney.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Exposure much? Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>This is the 2013 Dark Cloud Crew, plus one or two hangers on. To be a member you can't arrive back in camp before 6pm and you can't have smooth sailing. Crashes, mechanicals and hardship all are qualifying factors. And beer drinking en route. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>The best part of TP is the mandatory social stops be it for coffee or beer each day in medieval villages.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Two dudes one nozzle. Menton Beach. #maxiDickerhoff #minidickerhoff</b> -Sven Martin

<b>The last member of Team Dark Cloud, Mary-Anne Hunter, crosses the line to a warm welcome from overall women's winner, Anka Martin. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Even the liaisons here at Trans Provence are EPIC. 1st Place "amateur," Chris Ball. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Oliver Munnik of Team #Hashtag throws some Cape Flats gang signs for the fans. #ChicksDigScars #HowWeLookin Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Before you head out on the road at Trans-Provence you have to climb the Col du Baguette! Fuel for many a mile! #BreadForBombing Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Six days in the same chamois! No wonder Joe Bowman has to be on the beach by himself. #ClammyChamois #SheffieldPeel Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Photographer caught railing a liaison yesterday. Sam Needham throws some shapes! #HearMeNow Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>The light on Stage 1 on Thursday can best be described as epic in the true sense! And so can the stages thereafter! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Adam Craig gets in sync with the fall colours of France which are more like Maine than Oregon. Free-falling through switchback after switchback! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>It's as if Will Ockelton is on a Yorkshire summer holiday. Flip flops on and rain coat in the pack!. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>This was the start this morning, complete with hashtag motivation - #MakeItCount indeed!</b>

<b>Dignes-Les-Baines during the 6th and final day of the 2013 Trans-Provence. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>The trail passed through Italy today so a mandatory coffee stop was in order. Thanks Santa Cruz Bikes for picking up the tab. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Trans-Provence first-timer and first-time Top 10. An historical moment as Jamie Nicoll passes by some history on the way to the final stage of the 2013 Trans-Provence. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Todd Seplavy and Al Stock prove that a puff and beer is the true spirit of Enduro. Tobacco of course...</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Kelli Emmett on her first Trans Provence with third place in the ladies.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Paul Smail. Railing ruts...</b> -Sven Martin

<b>After racing, it's all about the 30-minute rehydration window. Sven Martin makes sure he is raring to go on the rest of the day! #MongoLikeBeer Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Manuel Fumic is not your regular XC pro racer. Speed, skill and style for miles. What a legend. Time to start training for 2014! Thanks to Sven and Gary for making us feel like we were in the heart of France with the rest of the crew!</b> -Sven Martin

You can hear the exhaustion and elation in the voices of everyone who participated in the 2013 Trans Provence. After navigating French mountainsides for 6 days, the difference between 1st and 2nd place was only 1-second. The results, however, seem to be an after-thought as riders reflect on the incredible week mountain biking through the south of France. Photos by Gary Perkin and Sven Martin

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