Daniel Martin wins the Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Ireland's Daniel Martin won cycling's oldest classic, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, on Sunday.

Martin, nephew of former Tour de France champion Stephen Roche, won in six hours, 38 minutes and seven seconds, with Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez in second and Alejandro Valverde in third.

The oldest of the one-day races, beginning in 1892, it was Martin's first classic win.

"I can't believe it, I'm really in shock," he said.

"I've never seen the team ride so strong - they kept me protected all day. It felt like one of the easiest races I've ever done. It really is incredible, I'm so happy."

Martin, riding for Garmin-Sharp, attacked just before the final bend to come through and land the 99th edition of the 'doyenne' of the Ardennes classics, finishing three seconds ahead of Rodriguez.

Martin's mother is the sister of Roche, who won the Tour de France in 1987, and he rolled back the years for Irish fans as he gave his compatriots a first success in the Liege since Sean Kelly 24 years ago.

The 26-year-old came into the 261.5 kilometre race as one of the favourites following his fourth place in La Fleche Wallonne, but the victory is the biggest of his career to date.

Team Sky's Chris Froome was the first British finisher in 36th, one minute and 14 seconds behind the winner.