LAS VEGAS ― For the third time in as many nights there’s a lead change atop the PBR world standings.
J.B. Mauney took a commanding 471-point lead over Silvano Alves on Saturday night inside the Thomas & Mack Center with a crowd rousing 90.75-point effort on Breakdown to win the fourth round of the World Finals.
The 26-year-old is now the only rider among the Top 35 competing to have ridden all four bulls with only two more rounds remaining in the 2013 season, in what has clearly become a battle for the ages among the top two riders.
“I’m not looking at it,” said Mauney, of any questions related to the world standings or the event average. “I’m going to show up here tomorrow like I have every day since (the first day).
“I have one thing on my mind and that’s one bull at a time.”
Alves, the defending two-time World Champion, came to Las Vegas with the same intention.
His goal was to ride all six bulls and let the chips fall where they may. Unfortunately, he was called for a slap at 6.99 seconds in the final out of the night after making several huge corrections to stay on True Blood.
While Mauney sits comfortably atop the average, Alves falls back to eighth and will need nothing short of Mauney to be less than perfect on the final day of one of the most memorable seasons in the 20-year history of the PBR.
Mauney has a four-bull total of 362.25 points followed by L.J. Jenkins, who was competing with a torn left groin and will not be able to finish the event, with 264.25 points. Brazilian newcomer Claudio Crisostomo (260), Cody Nance (257.75) and Matt Triplett (257.25) round out the Top 5 in the overall average.
When Mauney took the lead the first time on Thursday, he said it didn’t matter where he or Alves were during the week and that it only matters on Sunday after the sixth and final round.
He’ll go into the final day of a 10-month long season as the No. 1 ranked rider in the world.
His fourth-round draft pick was projected by many, including PBR statistician Slade Long, to be a potential round-winning matchup and it was just that.
“I’m exhausted just watching this,” Long said.
Mauney looked to be in complete control, even making a strong recovery just before the four-second mark and then sat strong until the whistle blew.
After hugging bullfighters Jesse Byrne and Frank Newsom, who is his wife Lexie’s uncle, Mauney jumped on the back of the bucking chutes to embrace stock contractor Kent Cox.
The first time he did that was three months ago after riding Bushwacker for 95.25 points at the start of what has become a remarkable run that could be the Mooresville, N.C., native’s first world title in eight seasons on the Built Ford Tough Series.
This time he may well have taken the lead for the final time.
“What can I say,” said Cox, whose voice cracked with the anxiety and excitement of the moment, “I’m just happy to be a part of it. I’m living my dream here.”
“I respect that guy so much,” Mauney said. “He hauls one of the rankest bulls in the world (Bushwacker) and he’s part owner of (Breakdown). Some of those guys don’t want you to ride their bulls, Kent does. If you’re going to be 90 on them to win like that, he wants you to ride them every time.”
Mauney’s round-win was the second of four rounds on a night when only seven riders made the whistle in a round that featured the top ABBI Classic bulls.
Following Mauney were Claudio Crisostomo (89.75), Ben Jones (88.5), Matt Triplett (88.25), Eduardo Aparecido (87.75), Valdiron de Oliveira (86) and Cody Nance (82.25).
Mauney drew Harlem Shake for Round 5, while Alves will have Cowtown Slinger.
The top World Champion Bull contenders, including Bushwacker and Asteroid, await the Top 15 riders in the average for the final Built Ford Tough Championship Round. Unlike regular-season events, this final round will be a random matchup in which the bulls are pre-drawn into an order of one through 15.
In addition to watching Round 4 on Saturday, fans also witnessed the ABBI Classic Finals. The Rocker clinched the title after finishing with a two-ride aggregate score of 176 points, a half point ahead of King Buck, the second-place finisher. The Rocker finished No. 1 in the title race after bucking off 2009 World Champion Kody Lostroh in 3.35 seconds during the Saturday night performance. The victory earned The Rocker’s owner, 18-year-old Wyatt Crowder of Fort Lupton, Colo., the coveted $200,000 prize.
Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series
Built Ford Tough World Finals
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Event points)
1. J. B. Mauney, 88.75-93.75-89-90.75-362.25 points.
2. L.J. Jenkins, 86-89.75-88.5-0-264.25 points.
3. Claudio Crisostomo, 83.25-0-87-89.75-260.00 points.
4. Cody Nance, 89-0-86.5-82.25-257.75 points.
5. Matt Triplett, 80.25-0-88.75-88.25-257.25 points.
6. Guilherme Marchi, 87.5-86.25-83-0-256.75 points.
7. Eduardo Aparecido, 86.75-0-80.75-87.75-255.25 points.
8. Silvano Alves, 73.75-89.5-89.5-0-252.75 points.
9. Valdiron de Oliveira, 0-86.25-0-86-172.25 points.
10. Ty Pozzobon, 85.5-86.25-0-0-171.75 points.
11. Stormy Wing, 0-0-91.25-0-91.25 points.
12. Joao Ricardo Vieira, 0-91-0-0-91.00 points.
13. Brant Atwood, 0-90.75-0-0-90.75 points.
14. Ben Jones, 0-0-0-88.5-88.50 points.
15. Kody Lostroh, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50 points.
16. Renato Nunes, 87.25-0-0-0-87.25 points.
17. Austin Meier, 0-0-87-0-87.00 points.
(tie). Markus Mariluch, 87-0-0-0-87.00 points.
19. Edevaldo Ferreira, 0-0-86.75-0-86.75 points.
(tie). Jory Markiss, 0-86.75-0-0-86.75 points.
21. Jordan Hupp, 0-0-86.5-0-86.50 points.
22. Ryan Dirteater, 86.25-0-0-0-86.25 points.
23. Luke Snyder, 0-0-84.5-0-84.50 points.
24. Mike Lee, 0-0-84-0-84.00 points.
25. Fabiano Vieira, 0-0-83.75-0-83.75 points.
(tie). Gustavo Pedrero, 0-83.75-0-0-83.75 points.
27. Shane Proctor, 81.25-0-0-0-81.25 points.
Agnaldo Cardozo, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Alex Aparecido Marcilio, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Billy Robinson, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Brendon Clark, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Chase Outlaw, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Chris Lowe, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Douglas Duncan, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Emilio Resende, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Lachlan Richardson, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Nathan Schaper, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Sean Willingham, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
Zane Lambert, 0-0-0-0-0.00 points.
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