ZACH Bridges may have been knocked off his bike twice this year but that hasn’t stopped the talented teenager becoming a record-breaker.

The 17-year-old from Cwmbran can add to his ever-expanding cycling CV next month when he tackles the Cwmtillery Glass Monmouthshire Junior Grand Prix alongside some of the best young riders in the UK.

The race on June 24 forms part of this year’s Abergavenny Festival of Cycling which begins the previous day with the Iron Mountain Sportif and also includes the televised HSBC National Town Centre Circuit Series in Abergavenny on July 6.

Bridges, in his first year as a member of British Cycling’s Junior Academy, has suffered two horrible crashes since the turn of the year, with a car and then a motorbike wiping him out.

Thankfully the teenager has suffered no lasting injuries, although he is still bruised on the arms and legs after the second collision.

Bridges said: “I was out in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands) with British Cycling in January at an international track meet.

“I was third in the elimination race and points race and we got second in the team pursuit – Team GB A got first and Team GB B got second which was really good.

“Apledoorn was good but at the end of the week I got hit by a motorbike so that was annoying.

“The week after at the National Track Championships in Manchester I was still recovering from the crash.

“I had the British Omnium Championships in late February and got seventh in the seniors. That was a really good experience.

“I felt I raced really well there but, unfortunately, I got hit by a car the week after.

“It was during training. I was coming back home and a car just turned right in front of me in Newport and took me out.

“My injuries were not that bad. I had three or four days off and then it was back on the turbo to get some fitness back but it was annoying because I had to miss a race.”

Bridges has been hitting his straps on the road since then, adding: “I broke the national 25-mile record a few weeks ago with a 47.37mins.

“I am going to look to push that to under 47 minutes by the end of this year so hopefully I can get down to the time trial course in Hirwaun, go down to Neath and then back up the valley.

“That is the quickest 25-mile course in the UK so I want to break the record again and then get some good racing out on the continent with British Cycling and for some other teams I’ll be guesting for.”

The youngster missed last year’s Monmouthshire Junior GP but has already had a look at the circuit and thinks he can do well this time around.

“It starts at Hilston Park, does a loop around Abergavenny and ends on the finishing circuits around Grosmont before the finish in the village. I have ridden the course and it is hard.”

And Bridges believes he can star in the Junior World Road Championships in Yorkshire next year and even get a medal.

“I want to be selected for that and then go for a podium in the time trial,” he said.

“Time trialling suits me. I have been told I am a powerful rider and I find I can really focus on my own, get the power down and just ride as hard as I can.

“They call it the Race of Truth.”

For further information about the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, go to