Andreas Mikkelsen has conceded he was 'flabbergasted' by just how difficult it was to get to the finish of Rallye Monte Carlo last weekend.

The Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot had only done the Monte once before and that was back in 2011, when he crashed out in the opening stage. That made this year's event very much a step into the unknown, yet he showed the necessary caution and was on course for sixth in his Polo R WRC until he slid off the snow-covered road in a slow corner in SS10 on Friday - the penultimate test of the day.

Despite that setback however, he was able to continue - thanks to the help of some fans - and while he lost over 4 minutes, he still finished comfortably in the top-ten, eventually taking seventh and six points.

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"An incredibly strenuous rally for us," Mikkelsen said after the opening round in the 2014 World Rally Championship.

"There were so many conditions we had never come across before. Like many others, we found ourselves driving with slicks on snow and spikes in the rain. The tyre selection was definitely extremely difficult.

"However, I learned a lot at the Rally Monte Carlo. I am very happy that we finished in the points.

"That was always our goal, and I am still flabbergasted how difficult it was to achieve that goal."

Volkswagen Motorsport director, Jost Capito meanwhile added: "This was [only] the second time [on this event] for Andreas and you can imagine that the first time he only did 500 metres. This time he did much more - he learned all of the stages and that was his target; without one [moment of] bad luck [in SS10], he could have been higher [overall too]."