Nick Clark, the Walter Mitty of Cycling, Now Banned by USA Cycling.
Blue Ridge cyclists should be familiar with an infamous hometown resident known for an elaborate fraudulent background tailored to boost sales at his locally owned bike shop.
A group of cyclists training around the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The story broke out around April when journalists uncovered that a local bike shop owner with a very complex background actually fabricated everything. The owner, Perth native Nick Clark, claimed to be just about everything imaginable such as a former pro cyclist, combat veteran, lawyer, hostage negotiator, and the list just goes on.
Looking back, it turns out that not even one of the outlandish claims panned out to be true. What's even wilder is the method that helped uncover the carefully tailored mountain of lies, a Stava KOM.
Riding on a profile without a verified pro-rider check mark, then 45 years old and visibly out of shape, Clark won an uphill KOM clocked at an eyewatering 33 mph (53 kph) up an 8.5% gradient.
The badge victory caused upset local riders to do more sleuthing and uncover that the rider was presumably in the same field as Sepp Kuss up one of the most difficult climbs in Arizona. Subsequently, all of the rider's segments had been flagged for higher review.
USA Cycling was made aware of the individual in 2019, but the claim lacked substance at the time and the report was subsequently closed. This meant that Clark was free to continue coaching and using his fake background to bolster sales.
The Weekend Australian, a paid newspaper publication, broke the story with exclusive insight from Clark, stating, “I don’t deny at all whatsoever that I embellished my credentials to get work.” Clark continued by stating that he “got to a point where I said you know what, screw this, I’m going to bolster up the resume and put some letters behind my name, and bam.”
Investigative journalists from The Weekend Australian uncovered that at the height of his claims, Clark's professional title read B.Ec, LLB, MBA, CPA, F Fin. He also used the titles of executive director and CEO. Presumably not satisfied, Clark added a Ph.D. for safe measure along with countless military commendations.
After using the fake military and police background, Clark managed to secure a firearms instructor position where he is currently working at the time of this publication.
The news of Nick Clark's fraudulent background has sent shockwaves through the local community in Blue Ridge. Many people are wondering how he was able to get away with it for so long. Some are even questioning whether or not he is truly sorry for his actions. Only time will tell if Clark will be able to redeem himself in the eyes of those he has deceived.