BRUSSELS — Daniel Martin of Ireland won the hilly Liege-Bastogne-Liege race Sunday, pulling away from Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez in the uphill stretch to the finish to take cycling's oldest classic for Boulder-based Team Garmin-Sharp.
Martin made sure he wouldn't be beaten by Rodriguez's sprint and made his move at the right moment with such a strong kick that he had time to look back and celebrate by waving arms before crossing the line.
"I didn't want to wait for the sprint, and that is why I went at that point," Martin said.
It was a team victory for Garmin after Ryder Hesjedal set a stifling pace to keep the breakaway group of six out of the clutches of the chasing group. He finished eighth.
"The team protected me all day," Martin said.
At age 26, this was the biggest victory of Martin's career, capping a sterling spring season in which he also won the Tour of Catalonia and finished fourth in last Wednesday's Walloon Arrow. The Associated Press