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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 24 November, 2017
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'I just ran out of legs' - Dan Martin praises team after gruelling classics ride

Team Sky’s Wout Poels claimed glory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege with a late sprint.

Wouter Poels of Team Sky celebrates as he crosses the finish line.
Wouter Poels of Team Sky celebrates as he crosses the finish line.

WOUT POELS FOLLOWED up his fourth place at Fleche Wallonne with victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege today as Ireland’s Dan Martin fell out of contention towards the end.

The Team Sky rider claimed his first classics triumph with a late sprint in the closing metres of the one-day race, Poels edging out Michael Albasini, Rui Costa and Samuel Sanchez on the line.

Victory is Team Sky’s first monument triumph since entering the sport, and seals an impressive Ardenne Classics campaign for Poels.

Martin, who won the race in 2013, was in the lead chasing pack towards the latter stages but failed to stay in touch with the late breakaways.

Martin later admitted on Twitter that he could have done no more on the day, and he was full of praise for his Etixx – Quick-Step team-mates.

In stark contrast to last weekend’s warm temperatures for the Fleche Wallonne, today’s race was beset by snow and rain, slowing the pace of the peloton and increasing the threat of accidents.

As a result, the sprint for the line came just before the final kilometre, plenty of riders threatening to make breaks earlier, before being sucked back into the peloton.

Team Sky showed their intent as Michal Kwiatkowski made a break on the penultimate climb of Cote de Saint-Nicolas, but he was quickly caught ahead of the cobbled ascent of Cote de la Rue Naniot.

As the summit moved into sight the top four riders made their move, and Poels had just enough to edge the final sprint.

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