Thierry Neuville beats Sebastien Ogier to win Monte Carlo season-opener

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Thierry Neuville beats Sebastien Ogier to win Monte Carlo season-opener

Thierry Neuville won Monte Carlo season-opener.
Thierry Neuville won Monte Carlo season-opener.Reuters
Hyundai's Thierry Neuville (35) made a perfect start to the season by winning the Monte Carlo Rally on Sunday after a close battle with Toyota's eight-times world champion Sebastien Ogier (40).

The two started the final day just 3.3 seconds apart, with Belgian Neuville leading and Ogier chasing a record-extending 10th Monte Carlo win on his home asphalt roads in the French Alps.

Neuville won Sunday's first two stages to stretch the gap to 13.5 seconds going into the final Col de Turini Power Stage and completed the hat-trick to finish 16.1 clear of Ogier and celebrate his second career Monte Carlo win.

The win was also the 20th of his career.

Elfyn Evans, Toyota's main title contender in the absence of reigning world rally champion Kalle Rovanpera who is taking time out, completed the podium.

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