Sebastien Ogier defeated Thierry Neuville in a breathtaking end to the 2019 World Rally Championship season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.
Making his first start since rejoining Citroen for 2019, Ogier took the lead on the second of Friday afternoon's three stages and did not relinquish it thereafter.
But that did not represent how close the battle between the six-time champion and chief rival Neuville was, with the Hyundai driver never more than 5.8 seconds in arrears on Saturday or Sunday.
Ogier consolidated his lead on Saturday, but Neuville started the final day of action strongly by slashing 1.1s from of an overnight deficit of 4.3s on the morning loop.
A stage win by 2.8s on the penultimate test set Neuville up for a final-stage attack against Ogier, who encountered a throttle issue on SS14 and SS15 which applied small amounts of power while using the brakes on his C3.
Neuville started the stage just 0.4s behind the rally leader and was 1.5s up on Ogier at split two, but the Citroen driver took control from there - eventually recording the second-fastest powerstage time to seal victory by 2.2s.
The win is Ogier's seventh on the Monte Carlo Rally and sixth in a row.