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Dan Martin wins the Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Belgium

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Dan Martin

Dan Martin

Dan Martin

Ireland's Dan Martin of the Garmin-Sharp team won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic today.

Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez was second in the 261.5 kilometre hilly one-day race, with Spain's Alejandro Valverde in third.

After a late attack by Rodriguez on the final ascent, Martin caught the Spaniard then broke away with 400 metres to go for a lone win.

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.

Online Editors