Payson’s Cypress Gorry finished fourth at the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships in Bend, Ore. Saturday, Dec. 11.
Jeff Bahnson of Delaware, Bjorn Fox from Nevada and Drew Dillman from Kentucky took the top three places.
The race conditions were extreme as the course consisted of deep mud in many sections as a result of snow that melted from a storm a few days before. The temperature at the start of the race was 33 degrees, with rain that had just a few minutes before the start been a steady snow.
On each of the five laps, the racers had to plow through many deep puddles of icy water, long sections of power-sucking mud, several short, steep climbs and then descents on slippery slopes, a set of two barriers to hurdle as well as a flight of stairs to run up.
The base of the stairs was underneath one of the large puddles, posing a very difficult hazard for the racers.
Gorry started on the front row due to his points standing from races earlier in the year, including a third-place finish at the Portland Stanley Cup the previous weekend.
Only a few hundred yards into the race, the pack came into a 100-yard long, 4- to 6-inch deep puddle, drenching everyone with spray from the tires and creating a battle with the elements to rival that with their fellow racers.
For most of the first lap Gorry rode in 12th place, but at the beginning of lap two he put in a huge effort to move up to sixth, just behind the fifth-place rider.
Over the next two laps Gorry battled for position with Gunner Bergey from Pennsylvania. Together they caught and passed Zane Godby from Colorado to move into fourth and fifth.
With a half lap to go, Bergey had opened a five-second lead over a hard-chasing Gorry. The Payson rider steadily closed the gap as the finish line grew nearer. A short way before the stairs following a fast corner, Bergey bobbled and got caught up in the tape lining the course, giving Gorry a chance to get by. Gorry surged ahead and sprinted up the stairs to to capture fourth with Bergey holding on for fifth.
To the World Cup
On Monday following the race, Gorry received confirmation from National Team Coach Geoff Proctor that he will represent the U.S. on the National Team for the World Cup race in Kalmthout, Belgium on Dec. 19.
That race will be one of six that Cypress will contest while attending Euro Cross Camp from Dec. 16 through Jan. 3. The five-man team selected for the U.S. World Cup team, which will compete in St. Wendel, Germany at the end of January will be announced Jan. 7.
Gorry and his family would like to thank the many members of the community and his sponsor, WEB-OP, who have contributed to his funding for the Euro Cross Camp. Thus far he has raised almost half the amount required for the camp.