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Jari-Matti Latvala has got his Rally Sweden off tothe best possible start by winning the opening stage by over half a second from Thierry Neuville.

The three-time Rally Sweden winner completed the 1.9km super-special opening stage Karlstad 1 in 1m 34.1s to pull out 0.6s on nearest challenger Neuville as all the runners got off to trouble-free starts.

Neuville's Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo was edged into third by one-tenth of a second but held the same size of time difference over M-Sport Ford's Ott Tanak - who had the same advantage over fifth-placed Sebastien Ogier to ensure the top five were covered by less than one second.

After topping the Shakedown Mads Ostberg maintained his early promise by placing himself sixth overall, ahead of fastest Citroen Kris Meeke with DMACK Ford's Elfyn Evans and Toyota's Juho Hanninen who tied for eighth place with identical times.

WRC2 challenger Christian Ole Veiby completed the top ten runners ahead of Hyundai's Hayden Paddon - who may have opted to take it steady after his Rallye Monte Carlo was ended on the opening night when he rolled his Hyundai and a spectator was killed in the accident.


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