/ Cycling

Dan Martin wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic

Updated: Monday, 22 Apr 2013 10:42 | Comments

Dan Martin crosses the line for victory Crowds of people watch as the peloton climbs the Cote de Saint-Roch
Dan Martin crosses the line for victory Crowds of people watch as the peloton climbs the Cote de Saint-Roch

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Ireland’s Daniel Martin recorded the biggest win of his career to date as a late attack carried him to victory in today's Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic.

The Garmin-Sharp rider pulled alongside Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez with a kilometre to go before kicking for victory, leaving the Spaniard to come home second, three seconds back, ahead of compatriot Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.

The 26-year-old Martin, who demonstrated his form with victory in the Tour of Catalonia last month, becomes only the second Irishman to win this coveted title, one of cycling's five 'Monuments', after Sean Kelly triumphed in 1984 and 1989.

"I cannot believe it. I am really in shock," said Martin on cyclingnews.com.

"The team rode like I've never seen them ride before. They protected me all day. We had Ryder (Hesjedal) and me, two guys in the last group. I am so happy. I just cannot believe it."

Martin's team-mate Ryder Hesjedal - who helped Martin to fourth place in La Fleche Wallonne earlier in the week - played a major role in the victory, helping bring the race under control on the penultimate climb of the 261.5km route as several teams tried to line up attacks.

Team Sky had led the peloton as they chased down a group of early escapees but a series of attacks followed and in the end they finished no better than Sergio Henao's 16th place, David Lopez unable to make a late attack hold.

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