PUEBLO, Colo. – A year after being left off the roster for the inaugural Global Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, Dener Barbosa is now hopeful he will be healthy enough to contribute to Team Brazil on June 9-10 in Sydney, Australia.
Barbosa was one of five riders named to Team Brazil on Sunday by coach Renato Nunes.
Barbosa, world leader Ramon de Lima, No. 2 Luciano de Castro, No. 4 Claudio Montanha Jr. and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (alternate) join 2015 Rookie of the Year Kaique Pacheco, No. 5 Eduardo Aparecido and 2017 Rookie of the Year Jose Vitor Leme, who qualified for the team based on last year’s world standings.
“I’ll do my best to be there by then,” Barbosa said via text. “(My recovery) is going well. I feel little pain.”
Barbosa had 12 screws, two plates and two pins inserted into his right foot on March 15 after he broke it attempting to ride Clemon Time at the Duluth Invitational.
Barbosa has begun to rehab his injury, but he primarily has been focusing on continuing to exercise all other areas of his body seeing as he still can’t put any weight or pressure on his right foot.
He is hopeful that by April 25 he will gain further clearance to intensify his rehabilitation.
“I am doing all body exercise, just not my legs because I can (put) force on the foot yet,” Barbosa said.
A healthy Barbosa, who is also trying to return in time for Last Cowboy Standing at Helldorado Days, presented by Ariat, on May 4-5, would be a strong addition to an impressive Team Brazil lineup.
Barbosa is still tied for the PBR-lead in qualified rides (19) and leads the PBR in rides (27) at all levels of competition despite having missed the last events. His 67.86-percent riding average on the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast is also a PBR-best.
“I really want to go to Australia, but this will depend on whether I'm going to be good,” he said.
Barbosa was a notable snub from last year’s Global Cup squad that finished runner-up to Team USA by going 11-for-18 (927.5 points).
This year’s team has four new riders with Barbosa, Lima, Castro and Montanha taking the spots of Joao Ricardo Vieira, Fabiano Vieira, Rubens Barbosa and three-time World Champion Silvano Alves.
Nunes also is replacing Robson Palermo as coach.
The changing of the guard for Team Brazil is similar to what is being seen in the world standings. Lima, Castro, Montanha and Barbosa were all rookies last season and now occupy four of the Top 6 positions in the world rankings.
Nunes said in February he would make his selections based on the world standings and that is exactly what he did. The eight riders on the team are the Top 8 Brazilians in the current world standings.
Team Brazil and Team USA will be the perennial favorites heading into the second Global Cup.
Like Team USA, Team Brazil has some injury concerns – just not to the same extent as the Americans.
Joining Barbosa currently on the sideline is Castro and Marchi.
Castro is out of competition until Last Cowboy Standing because of a torn MCL in his right knee. The 21-year-old was injured during his 87-point ride on Acting Crazy on March 18 during the Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort & Casino, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Marchi said on Monday that he is likely out two more weeks after fracturing his sternum, breaking a rib, spraining his right sternoclavicular joint during his wreck at the Ty Murray Invitational a day earlier after riding Chute Boss for 86.25 points.
“Maybe two more weekends,” Marchi said via Whatsapp. “I hope to be back for Billings.”
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