STEPHENVILLE, Texas - With one Built Ford Tough Series event
remaining before the start of the summer break, there's a
logjam atop the world standings as the title contenders battle for
every possible point.
"It's the perfect storm to make it a deep, very close and very competitive race," said Ty Murray in his weekly podcast, "and these guys understand that every moment matters and how much every single bull counts."
Listen to the Ty Murray Report.
Valdiron de Oliveira returned to competition in Idaho last week after missing only one event, despite sustaining a concussion and a fractured eye socket. Upon his return, he said, "I need to have more heart."
Guilherme Marchi wanted to compete in the final two rounds on Sunday afternoon despite suffering a frightening concussion on Saturday night. He was eventually kept out after failing a post-concussion test.
After covering Midnight Mood for 87 points in Round 1,
Guilherme Marchi sustains a concussion when he takes a shot from
the bull at the 2012 PBR Boise Invitational in Nampa,
And J.B. Mauney has covered three bulls, including two in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, using his right hand in the bull rope. The 25-year-old broke a bone his customary left hand in Kansas City, Mo., and made the switch instead of sitting out.
He'll miss this coming week in Pueblo, Colo., with an injured hip and a badly swollen left arm.
'It shows these guys are more afraid of
being second for the World Championship than they are of the
injuries that they could be facing.'
All three are in need of rest, but as Marchi put it, "I need the points."
"It shows these guys are more afraid of being second for the World Championship than they are of the injuries that they could be facing," Murray said.
Oliveira has a 654-point lead over Silvano Alves, who is attempting to become the first rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles. L.J. Jenkins, who has recorded seven consecutive Top 10 finishes, is 740.75 points back.
Without much fanfare, L.J. Jenkins has moved into third in
The Pueblo event is worth a maximum of 1,200 points, while the seventh of nine 15/15 Bucking Battles is worth a total of 300 points.
The Top 4 riders are within 1,500 points of each other.
"These guys hate sitting at home and watching guys make up ground or pass them in the standings," Murray explained. "There's a sense of urgency. You can just feel it. It's a dogfight."
After the Pueblo event there will be an 11-week break in action from the BFTS.
'There's a sense of urgency. You can just
feel it. It's a dogfight.'
Some riders will use the time to rest, relax and recover. Others will compete sparingly, whether it's at a few Touring Pro Division events in the U.S., or at international PBR events in Canada, Brazil and Australia.
There are some who will also maintain a full schedule of TPD events combined with some PRCA rodeos.
All 35 riders want to end the first portion of the 2012 season having gone out with an event win, or at the very least a Top 10 finish.
"Things usually do change between when the break starts and when the season picks back up," Murray said.
He then added, "It's still an adjustment when the season picks back up, because everything is a bigger, stronger, faster, tougher competition and that feverish desire and hunger for that gold buckle. We're feeling it now, but it's going to be even more so when it's down the stretch."
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