Rallying: Delecour sights victory

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The Independent Online
FRANCOIS DELECOUR moved closer to securing a first victory for Ford in the Monte Carlo Rally yesterday as he more than doubled his overnight lead over the world champion, Juha Kankkunen of Finland, in a Toyota Celica.

The Frenchman, leading by 44 seconds overnight, extended the gap to a seemingly unassailable 1min 33sec after yesterday's four stages. Delecour, in an Escort, won the opening stage between the Col de la Saulce and Rosans, taking another 25 seconds from Kankkunen.

Scotland's Colin McRae, in a Subaru Impreza, won one stage, while Spain's Carlos Sainz closed the gap on Kankkunen to just 31 seconds in his Subaru to give himself a chance of finishing second.

Stephen Roche, the former Tour de France winner who retired from cycling last year, is in 65th place in a Seat Ibiza. It is the Irishman's first Monte Carlo, but he has competed in nine other rallies. 'I'm like a Sunday morning bike rider who just tries to keep going when it gets tough,' Roche said.

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