Neuville's time of 1m54.4s around the 1.1-mile mostly asphalt stage put him three tenths of a second clear of Ott Tanak's Toyota in second place.
For much of the evening the lead changed hands with every new car through the flying finish, but World Rally Championship leader - and last frontrunner on the road - Sebastien Ogier could not depose Neuville or Tanak and had to settle for third.
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Neuville's team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen completed the top four, ahead of Kris Meeke in the best of the Citroens.
Craig Breen is back as Meeke's team-mate this weekend after Sebastien Loeb's two-round cameo, but his return got off to a frustrating start with a 10s penalty for being late out of service. Even before that was applied, Breen had only been 10th fastest on the stage.
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Mikkelsen holds slender lead over Tanak