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    WEB_Matt Clark nationals (1)_pe_c6_20160112
    TIGHT BUNCH: Matt Clark and Albury rider Jesse Featonby at work amid the peloton on Sunday.

    LOCAL rider Matt Clark has made a superb start to 2016 with new team Satalyst Verve, placing top 10 in both the road race and individual time trial at the Cycling Australia Road Nationals in Buninyong.

    In Sunday’s gruelling road race, staged in 35 degree heat, Clark, 24, was one of just 15 riders to complete the 183.6km journey from 175 starters.

    The race was split early, with eventual winner Jack Bobridge part of a 21-man bunch that broke away on the first of 18 laps.

    Clark, who stayed with the peloton following the movements of pre-race favourites Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans, said the gap soon saw riders start to drop out.

    “It only took 15 minutes to do a lap of the course, and the gap was steadily growing,” Clark said.

    “After one lap it was 43 seconds and by the end of the second lap it was out to three minutes.

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