Posted on: Wednesday 8 August 2018
17-year-old Zach Bridges from Cwmbran, Torfaen’s first Elite sponsored athlete, is set to debut on the World stage having been selected to represent Great Britain in next month’s World Junior Cycling Track Championships.
This is his first year in the junior age category and he will be competing in both the team and individual pursuit, an event where he picked up silver medals in both individual pursuit and points races during the recent UK national championships.
Zach has gained valuable experience this year representing Great Britain in a number of UCI road races across Europe and he hopes to build on the experience he has already gained ready for his 2nd year junior. Earlier this year, Zach became the first junior cyclist to break the 48 minute barrier for a 25 mile time trial at the Welsh National Cycling Time Trial Championships, setting a new national record of 47 minutes and 27 seconds. His ambition for 2019 season is to push the 25 mile record below 47 minutes and the 10 mile record below 18 minutes.
Zach said: “Track training has been going really well and I knew that I was in with a chance of selection for the World Championships. To have it confirmed is brilliant and I’m really looking forward to it. It doesn’t get any better than testing yourself against the best in the world and I seem to be coming into my best form just at the right time."
Zach is a hot prospect for the future of Welsh cycling and he will look to follow in the tracks of fellow Welshman and Tour de France Champion, Geraint Thomas. Thomas bodes as one of the best general classification riders in the world and is a strong road time trialists, an event that Bridges is evidentally already making important gains in.
This year Zach received a cheque for £2,000 from the Mic Morris Memorial Trust Fund, this has aided the purchase of a new set of track disc wheels which has been put to good use in recent competitions.
Zach added: “As with any sport, it goes without saying that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without all the support I receive from my family and sponsors. The award from Torfaen, via the Mic Morris fund, alongside the ongoing support I receive from Newport-based kitchen manufacturer, Cymru Kitchens, and Ribble Pro cycling, mean that I’ve been able to access to best possible equipment and for that I am very greatful”.
Zach sets off for Aigle in Switzerland on 12 August, with the championships taking place between 15 - 19 August. You will be able to follow Zach’s progress live via the UCI championship link during the competition.