"We played it safe and we content ourselves to manage our leadership," said Sebastien Loeb, who β€” with navigator Daniel Elena β€” dominated the third leg of the Monte Carlo Rally today. Ford-BP's Marcus Gr nholm and navigator Timo Rautiainen remained in third β€” 1:23 behind Loeb, whose Citroen teammate, Spain's Daniel Sordo, trailed by 31 seconds β€” as the cars returned to service in Valance. Tomorrow's superspecial stage pits trailing drivers against each other (20th v. 19th, and so on), leading up a head-to-head between the top-classified drivers. Apparently Citroen's beaucoup of rallybux is already paying dividends, but does this mean WRC 2007 become as predictable as F1: The Ferrari Years? All signs point to "oui." (Click through for a short clip from Leg 2.)

Loeb holds lead in Monte Carlo Rally [International Herald Tribune]

Monte Carlo Rally: Leg 2 Recap [internal]