Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has crashed out of Rallye de France-Alsace after rolling his DS3 WRC car in the opening stage of the day.

Loeb began the final leg in fourth place and in a four-way scrap for the win, just 5 seconds off overnight leader, Jari-Matti Latvala.

However it all pear-shaped for the record-breaking nine-time World Rally Champion, when he got caught out by the extremely wet and slippery conditions in SS15, the 14.60 km Vignoble de Cleebourg 1 test. Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena both escaped unhurt, although their DS3 WRC ended up on its roof.

It was Loeb's first retirement since Sardinia last year and is definitely not the way he would have wanted to end his illustrious WRC career.

Sebastien Ogier meanwhile now leads, having blitzed his rivals in SS15, setting a time 8.4 seconds up on Dani Sordo, who was second and 'best of the rest'.

Sordo has moved up to second overall with Latvala dropping down to third, the Finn admitting he had eased off after Loeb's exit.

"I started OK, but it's very difficult to find the grip. When I heard that Loeb had gone off the road I backed off - it's going to be very difficult to fight for the win today. With Loeb off the manufacturers points are really valuable," Latvala explained.