Loeb extends his Monte Carlo lead

Sébastien Loeb of Citroën extended his lead in the Monte Carlo rally yesterday, but another Frenchman, Sébastien Ogier, crashed heavily and retired.

Loeb, the eight-times world champion, ended the second leg of the season-opening event one minute 37 seconds ahead of the Spaniard Dani Sordo in a Mini, with Ford's Norwegian Petter Solberg third.

Ogier, driving a Skoda, had kept up with the leaders in the icy conditions but crashed on the day's final stage.

"Today was easier than yesterday, more like a normal tarmac rally but it was still tricky because it was very muddy in places," said Loeb.