Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has sealed his 2013 WRC title success in style by charging back to win Rallye de France, the eleventh round in the 2013 World Rally Championship.

Ogier's crowning in Alsace might have been pretty much a formality after his victory in Australia last month, but when it came following Thursday's Power Stage, he still had another 19 stages to complete.

Initially he struggled too, and on the first full-day of competition on Friday, conceded he wasn't completely switched on. Nevetheless he ended the day in fifth, well in contention for a podium, even if the win did at that point look a tad unlikely.

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Indeed Sebastien Loeb led following SS4, but he slipped back in the afternoon after opting for the wrong tyres. Thierry Neuville in contrast got the choice perfect and completed Friday's action, 9.9 seconds up on Dani Sordo.

Neuville then pulled further ahead on Saturday morning and was looking strong until he hit a stone in SS11 on the second runs and suffered a puncture, costing him over a minute and dropping him back to fifth.

Sordo then inherited the lead, only to find himself demoted back to second in SS14, when Jari-Matti Latvala nipped in front.

Going into Sunday's concluding leg, the top-four - Latvala, Sordo, Ogier and Loeb - were now separated by just 5 seconds, setting things up nicely for an exciting finish, especially as rain made the stages extremely treacherous.

Ogier, however, still surged to the front, winning the first three stages to build a 13.7 second cushion. He then paced himself through the repeat runs and brought his car home to take his seventh win of the season.

"Lots of emotions during that weekend! World Champion on Thursday, a great rise on Saturday and a win today - it's just joy especially as the conditions were not easy," Ogier said after SS20.

Behind, Sordo took the runners-up spot in his Citroen after another good display on tarmac and backing up what he achieved in Germany in August.

"We can never be satisfied to be second on a rally," said the Spaniard, "but I am happy that we fought during the entire weekend for the win. Today in front of Ogier it was very difficult."

Latvala completed the rostrum and in doing so helped Volkswagen further consolidate its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship. VW now heads Citroen by 80 points, with just 86 left available.

"I am happy to be on the podium especially considering the road conditions and as it has not happened to me in a long time," said Jari-Matti.

Behind, after his misfortune on Saturday afternoon, Qatar World Rally Team man Neuville had to settle for fourth, ending a run of five successive podiums. Still the Belgian can be happy with his performance and yet another superb display at the wheel of his M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

"I am very disappointed as I believe I was the best performer over the entire rally," Neuville remarked. "I feel sorry for the team because I think I could have won here. I believe I have proved my abilities this weekend."

Neuville's team-mate Evgeny Novikov rounded out the top five, running in the points throughout: "We could not have hoped for a better result. I drove safely without making mistakes," noted the Russian.

Mikko Hirvonen had another mediocre outing and came home sixth in his works Citroen DS3 WRC, 25 seconds or so off P5 and a similar amount up on Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen.

Mads Ostberg was eighth, losing more than a minute and two positions on the leaderboard when he slid off and his car got stuck at a junction in SS18.

"I have had strange troubles with the brakes today - the balance is weird. However I believe I have improved on asphalt and it is promising for Rally de Espana, which is on mixed surfaces," Ostberg commented.

Former F1 winner Robert Kubica impressed again and took ninth overall and the WRC2 class win, his fourth of the season. The Pole led the WRC2 class throughout, eventually finishing more than 2 minutes up on Romain Dumas in tenth and 4 minutes up on Elfyn Evans, who was eleventh overall and second in WRC2.

In the other support categories, Quentin Gilbert took the WRC3 victory, while Pontus Tidemand took the JWRC win and in the process also secured the 2013 Junior title with one round to go.

In terms of retirements, Sebastien Loeb was the big name casualty. Loeb had been running fourth and was just 5 seconds off the lead when he rolled his Citroen DS3 WRC in the first test on Sunday morning and ended up in a ditch - an inauspicious end to his illustrious WRC career.

The WRC now heads to Spain later this month for the penultimate round in the championship, which runs October 24-27.

To view the result for Rallye de France 2013 - CLICK HERE