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30 July 2005, 11:42 am
Toulon Provence Mediterrannee COYCHyères, Is The Overall Winner!
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Tour de France a la Voile 2005
France

TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE COYCHyères won this 28th Tour de France à la Voile. If Fabien Henry and his team already had, yesterday, a sufficient amount of points to come up winner of the 2005 edition, it's only tonight, that they can celebrate their victory. DEFI PARTAGE MARSEILLE and BOUYGUES TELECOM are sitting on the 2nd and 3rd step of the podium.
With a lead of 83.5 points yesterday, after the last offshore leg between Sainte-Maxime and Menton, TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE COYCHyères was already sure to win the Tour de France à la Voile 2005. Even if the Race Committee had been able to start the two races today, and if DEFI PARTAGE MARSEILLE won them both, they couldn't catch up this lead. Fabien HENRY and his team are the big winners of this race after being in the lead almost all the way along. The progression of this team since their first participation in 2001 is quite impressive. Four years ago, they won the Amateur Ranking, and since, they haven't stopped going up. In 2002, they became a professional team and finished in 11th position. The following year, they ended up 6th, and then 5th in 2004. After a title of Mumm 30 World Championships this year, TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE COYCHyères is now adding a new line to his experience. 'Yesterday, when we heard that the race would be stopped', said skipper Fabien HENRY, 'it didn't take us long to realise that we won the overall race. We all jumped in the water. That was a big relief! When the pressure is dropping, it's more a moment of strong emotion than a moment of joy. We will come back next year to defend our title'.

DEFI PARTAGE MARSEILLE is finally second overall in front of BOUYGUES TELECOM. 'The fact that the two races had been cancelled is quite good news for us, said skipper from Marseille, Dimitri Deruelle, even if we wanted to have a last fight on the water with our friends of Bouygues. But I think we really deserve this second place. We are very happy to beat the World Champion and the last year winner of the Tour de France à la Voile'. The cancellation of the races today made Pierre Loïc BERTHET and his team a bit disappointed: 'we were hoping we could race, but with the weather conditions, we knew it would be hard. We didn't do very well in the Mediterranean. It is totally our fault. But that gives more strengh to come back next year and do better.'.

In the Amateur Ranking, after a tight fight with VILLE DU PORT BRED LA REUNION and CSC ESSEC, ESPOIR ILE DE FRANCE is winning the title. 'We are very happy', said skipper Jean Pierre Nicol. Next year, we will try to come back as a professional team, with the objective of winning the race overall within three years'.

On the Student side, PORT DE COMMERCE LA ROCHELLE won the race with a short lead over their main rival ALFA LAVAL. Even if the team from La Rochelle didn't win any of the 32 races, they managed to finish first with a nice consistency.

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