TALENTED Torfaen cyclist Zach Bridges can’t wait to make his debut on the world stage next week in Switzerland.

The 17-year-old from Cwmbran has been selected to represent Great Britain in the team pursuit and individual pursuit at the UCI Junior Track World Championships.

Teenager Bridges, a first-year junior rider, travels to the historic town of Aigle having won a silver medal in the solo discipline at the recent UK National Youth and Junior Track Championships.

He also came away from the championships in Newport with a silver in the points race.

Having gained valuable experience this season riding for Britain in a number of UCI road races across Europe, Bridges hopes to take that knowhow into 2019 as a second-year junior.

Earlier this year, he became the first junior to break 48 minutes (47.27mins) for a 25-mile time trial, doing so at the Welsh Time Trial and Road Race Championships.

One of his ambitions for next season is to push the 25-mile record below 47 minutes and the 10-mile mark under 18 minutes.

“Track training has been going really well and I knew that I was in with a chance of selection,” said the youngster on his selection for the worlds.

“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.

“I set a big new PB in the 3,000m individual pursuit last week and backed that up with an aggressive ride in the points race. It’s been a good week.”

Bridges is a hot prospect for the future and will look to follow in the tracks of fellow Welshman and Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas, who he watched train for the 2012 Olympics in Newport six years ago.

Thomas is one of the best general classification riders in the world and a strong road time trialist, an event that Bridges is evidently already making important gains in.

This year a cheque for £2,000 from the Mic Morris Memorial Trust Fund aided the purchase of a new set of track disc wheels which have been put to good use.

He 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, both British and Welsh Cycling 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 the best possible equipment and for that I am very grateful.”

The UCI Junior Track World Championships take place from August 15-19 and you can follow Bridges' progress live via the UCI website.