A Payson teen who grew up riding bikes on town streets and mountain trails with his father is on the receiving end of one of the highest honors a cyclist can attain.
Cypress Gorry was chosen by USA Cycling to be a member of the four-person 17-18-years Junior Team that will next month represent the United States in the Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland.
There, Gorry and his teammates will take on teen cycling standouts from around the world.
For Gorry, the World Championships mark the culmination of a grueling cycling season that tipped off in January at McDowell Mountain Park near Fountain Hills.
During the course of the rugged campaign, the Rim Country teenager competed in World Cup races in Canada, New York and Germany.
In May, Gorry turned in one of his most gritty cycling accomplishments by coming from behind at the Offenburg World Cup in Germany to become the second American finisher.
That was a huge feat mostly because he began the race in the last row of the 125 entrants, but managed to climb to 85th at race’s end.
The course might have been one of the most difficult on which Gorry has competed. It included obstacles known as the World Class Drop, Snake Pit and Wolf’s Drop.
World Class Drop featured a free-fall into a corner, Snake Pit was tough to get past because it was root filled and Wolf’s Drop was steep downhill run over roots.
Just one day after his return from Germany, Gorry received an invitation to compete on the U.S. National Team in two North American World Races near Quebec.
A 10th place finish on a rock-strewn, mucky course that many riders failed to negotiate highlighted his debut there.
Gorry’s father, Wayne, a longtime local cycling guru who first took his son cycling when the boy was in diapers, is convinced the race that sealed Cypress’ selection to the American Junior team was the USA National Championships held last month near Ketchum, Idaho.
Competing against 50 other mountain bikers in his age group, it was Gorry’s uphill riding prowess that earned him a first place finish.
The course was over a steep ski area road that included inclines on which some riders had to dismount.
On the first climb, Gorry took the lead only to later lose it to two other riders.
On the second lap climb he regained the lead and “held that position for the remainder of the three-lap race,” said Wayne Gorry.
The Mountain Bike World Championships are set for Sept. 1 at the Champery Ski Resort. The course is considered the most technically challenging on the World Cup Circuit because its pitfalls include steep climbs and descents over root-covered, often muddy trails.