Rising BMX star visits AECC UC in preparation for World Championships

Bournemouth BMX rider Zac Twitchen has been undergoing performance testing at AECC UC recently as he prepares for the UCI BMX Racing World Championships, and British BMX Championships later this summer.

Zac (14) sustained a broken collarbone back in April, and since then has been working with Phill Heritage in our Human Performance Laboratory, with the specific target of getting him ready to compete again.

We spoke to Zac, his dad John, and Phill about Zac’s rehab and his prospects at the upcoming championships.

Bournemouth BMX rider Zac Twitchen with Phill Heritage in the Human Performance Lab


On his injury and the initial set back.

Zac - “When the injury happened I instantly thought about the worlds, and how my year might pan out.

“It happened just before the Scottish round of the national series, which we couldn’t attend. And that was a real blow”


On Zac’s recovery.

John - “He was doing sessions at home on a turbo trainer after 3 weeks – he wanted to come back even stronger.”

Phill - “Overall it’s been about 8 and a half weeks for him to make a full recovery which is quite impressive”


Zac and his Dad came to see Phill at AECC UC as they knew that with the right training he might still have a chance at making the World Championships.

John - “We needed at fast-paced programme to get Zac back to fitness. Phill’s put a terrific programme together. With the world champs as a specific target, we had to focus on increasing Zac’s threshold to allow him to go further and harder.


Zac’s first proper race since the injury was in round 7 of the South BMX Regional Series in Runnymede. From Lane 8 Zac managed to finish second, overcoming a slow start and an additional 10 metres from the outside lane.

Zac - “My power on the first part of the track was worse, but I noticed across the rest of the track I was gaining in endurance.

“During the race, I could tell I was going faster than usual and had energy left it the tank. It definitely gave me a confidence I wasn’t far off and I ended up finishing 2nd.


On how coming to AECC has helped Zac improve his performance.

Zac - “I definitely feel like I’m a better athlete than I was before. I’ve learned how to keep my speed up for longer”


On how Phill has helped him specifically.

Zac - “He’s helped me to get as ready as I can be for the Worlds, physically and mentally.

“I’ve got actual data to show I’ve improved and I feel like I’ve improved too. It’s given me a huge psychological boost.”


On competing at the Worlds.

Zac - “I’ve been working for 2 years with this in mind, so really I’m just proud to have qualified in the first place.”

“I’m also grateful to have recovered from the injury.”


On handling the heatwave in Europe.

Zac -“I’m feeling fine actually, I’ve been training in the heat here which has helped”

Dad John adds - “We couldn’t have paid for this level of acclimatisation!”


On his ambitions for the future

Zac - “First, to keep coming back to AECC for training and testing and to improve. But more specifically I want to compete at the 2028 Olympics in LA. That would be something I’d really be proud of.”


Zac and his family head to Nantes, France later this week for the UCI BMX Racing World Championships which start on the 24th July. They then return home to Bournemouth for the British BMX Championships in August. It’s the first time the ‘Brits’ have been held in Bournemouth since 1994.


Bournemouth BMX rider Zac Twitchen on track

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