Valverde gobbles up Daniel Martin in the final stretch to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège

The cycling classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège (LBL) was yet again a prey for Spain's Alejandro Valverde. After a long uphill sprint, Valverde caught Ireland's Dan Martin in the final stretch to take his fourth LBL win, just one victory short of the all-time record of Eddy Merckx.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is dubbed the mother of all cycling classics because of its old age - La Doyenne. It is also one of the hardest races, "the race that never lies" many say.

The 103rd edition took the riders through the Belgian Ardennes over a 258-km course full of long climbs. The finish was also situated uphill, in Ans (Liège). In the end, it was a group of some 20 riders battling it out for victory. Daniel Martin (Quick Step) accelerated in the final kilometre, taking some 20 yards on the group, but Valverde (Movistar) eventually responded and caught his Irish rival before outsprinting him with ease.Michal Kwiatkowksi took third place.

Valverde, who turns 37 on 25 April, had already won the Flèche Wallonne for a record fifth time on the Mur de Huy, last Wednesday. He dedicated his victory to Michele Scarponi, the Italian rider who died in a tragic road accident yesterday.