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Sebastien Ogier has seen his lead at Rally de Portugal cut to 16.8 seconds by Thierry Neuville has the pair prepare for a final day sprint to victory.

After Ott Tanak picked up damage while leading on SS12 to slip out of contention for victory, the battle for stage wins has been played out solely between the top two with the Hyundai driver taking two stages in the afternoon loop on day three in Portugal.

Neuville's progress has allowed him to make small inroads into Ogier's lead, who also claimed a stage win in the afternoon, but with a sizeable 16.8s advantage the World Rally Championship leader remains firm favourite for his first victory since the 2017 season opener Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Dani Sordo has slipped off the unrelenting pace of the front two and is 51.3s behind leader Ogier but still holds a comfortable advantage over M-Sport's Ott Tanak in fourth who has nipped back ahead of Craig Breen in the lead Citroen Abu Dhabi Racing car.

Elfyn Evans remains a distant sixth - almost 90 seconds behind Breen in fifth - but has maintained his lead over seventh placed Juho Hanninen for Toyota Gazoo Racing with Mads Ostberg eighth and the unwell Jari-Matti Latvala ninth.

Andreas Mikkelsen holds a dominant three-minute lead in the WRC2 category for Skoda and also jumped into the top 10 after WRC debutant Esapekka Lappi lost a huge chunk of time on SS15 after hitting a wall having run wide but remains in contention for points in 11th.


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