Sebastien Ogier overcame numerous hurdles to win this weekend's Monte Carlo Rally.
The three-day event was one of the toughest ever as rain masked ice on the roads in southern France. That it was the reigning world champion that conquered the challenges was no surprise. VW Polo R WRC driver Ogier will go into each of this year's rallies as the favourite to win because his car is such a well developed machine and the Frenchman is on incredible form.
His Monte win was far from straight forward, though. A brief off on the first corner of Thursday morning's opening test no doubt focused his mind. But that wasn't his only transgression through the weekend. A poor tyre choice on Thursday meant he had to fight for his win.
The 48 second deficit to the impressive Bryan Bouffier was dismissed on Friday despite Ogier having another moment, this time almost sliding into a ditch. He recovered immediately and at the end of Saturday's four stages he'd won the first WRC event of 2014 by over a minute.
From a British perspective the big story of the Monte was the performance of Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans. Meeke drove his Citroen DS3 WRC to a podium finish, fifty years after Paddy Hopkirk famously won the event in a Mini. For Meeke it was a strong result and one he needed as he bids to repay the faith Citroen has shown in him.