A love of cycling coupled with exceptional skills and a burning desire have enabled Payson High School student Cypress Gorry to travel the world to compete alongside, and against, some of the sport’s finest.
His travels continued May 24 from Sky Harbor in Phoenix where Gorry awaited a plane bound for Frankfurt, Germany where his next cycling adventure begins.
In the German city of Offenburg, Gorry will be one of six pre-selected 17- to 18-year-old American cyclists competing in a USA Cycling Cross Country Mountain Bike Development Camp.
While waiting for his flight, Gorry admitted he was both excited and a bit nervous about attending the camp, which has attracted some of the world’s finest mountain bike racers.
“I’ll be racing for my country, so that makes this kind of thrilling,” he said.
The purpose of the camp, according to USA Cycling officials, is to provide high-level European race experience to America’s best young mountain bike racers.
In past years, American cyclists have had to use the World Championships as a development tool.
But with the bike development camps now in place in Europe, cyclists can use them to train. The world championships then become a secondary goal after an American rider has proved himself worthy at the camp.
The camp will wrap up June 6 and Gorry will return to Payson to continue his training.
A series of five other USA development camps will be held throughout the summer in Germany and Switzerland.
Gorry has long been an avid mountain biking cyclist, who two years ago competed against the country’s finest mountain bikers in the USA Cycling National Championships at Granby Ranch, Colo.
There, he competed on the rugged Sol Vista Bike Park course, which featured a 19-mile course with a 4,000-foot climb.
Entered in the Category 1 (expert) 15-16 years division, Gorry was fourth.
Last year, Gorry completed a stint at the Rocky Mountain Regional Olympic Training Camp where he emerged as one of the best young riders in the under 23-years division.
In 2008, Gorry capped the seven-race Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) season by winning age/experience division championships at the Flagstaff Finale.
Gorry took honors in the beginner men’s 15-16 years age division, even though he was a 14-year-old who only a week earlier graduated from middle school. At the onset of the MBAA season, he decided to move up an age division in search of better competition.
Less than a month ago in Prescott, Gorry won his age group championship at the Whiskey 25-mile Off Road race in 1:15.33.
It was his first win in the Prescott race, but two years ago he was fourth overall in his class.
Just last weekend, he also participated in the Prescott Punisher, which is race No. 6 in the Mountain Bike of Association series.
“Cypress won his Category 1, 15-18-years class with the fastest lap times of any racer for the day,” said his father Wayne, a longtime local biking guru.
“He even passed all of the pro racers that started the race in the wave 2 minutes ahead of his class.”
Over the years, the teenager has also developed an interest in cyclocross racing and in December 2010 finished fourth in the USA Cycling Championships in Bend, Ore.
Also that month, Gorry represented the U.S. on the National Team participating the World Cup Race in Kalmthout, Belgium.