By: Keith Ryan Cartwright May 09, 2014@ 01:00:00 PM
LAS VEGAS ― By most accounts, Silvano Alves has had a terrible first part of the season or, at least, an unlikely stretch of events to start 2014.
“He couldn’t ride anything the first six events,” said two-time World Champion and television analyst Justin McBride.
Coming into this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing event, Alves has recorded seven Top-10 finishes with only three of those being in the Top 5. He has yet to win a Built Ford Tough Series event this year.
However, he’s been particularly adept when it comes to the progressive-elimination format featured this weekend at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
And it couldn’t come at a better time for the two-time World Champion from Brazil.
Four of Alves’ Top-10 finishes have come in the past six BFTS events. Not to mention, he’s won the Last Cowboy Standing event the past two years. Alves is currently ranked fourth in the world standings and is less than 1,500 points off the lead. His close friend Fabiano Vieira, the No. 1 ranked rider in the world, will miss this week’s event after dislocating his shoulder last week in the final round of the Colorado Springs, Colorado, event.
Alves is riding as well as anyone right now – he rode 3-of-4 in Colorado Springs and a few weeks ago was 4-of-4 in Billings, Montana – and is hoping to make it a three-peat at the Last Cowboy Standing.
“I enjoyed last year, and I hope to do good this year again,” Alves said.
He later added, “It’s a tough event. You have to draw good bulls and you have to pass and get another ride.”
It was rather unlike Alves to go 0-for-the-weekend in three of the first 10 events of the season. In three previous seasons, he did so only a combined seven times. Even more so, it was equally unlike fans to see the 26-year-old dealing with a right shoulder separation.
“He was hurt in the beginning and he fight with the pain,” said Guilherme Marchi.
Marchi had been atop the world standings for much of the year until surrendering the No. 1 position last weekend.
“I feel better right now and I’m starting to ride strong again,” Alves said. “I have more confidence again.”
Last year, Alves claimed the event win – the second of three in 2013 – by riding three of four bulls. He advanced through the first two rounds by riding Dirty Deals for 86 points and Tremors for 85.5 points before bucking off David’s Dream in what is referred to as the rank-round.
Fortunately for Alves, no one else rode and they all came back for a fourth round, where he covered Smackdown for 92.5 points and the win.
He won the same event a year earlier going 3-for-3 when it was held at Ford Field in Detroit.
As for his recent turnaround leading into this year’s event, Alves said, “I enjoy riding bulls again.”
Alves and his family – wife, Evelin, and their two children, Hanyelle and Eduardo – will return to Pilar do Sul, Brazil, for the 13-week summer break in which the hometown hero will be hosting the Silvano Alves Invitational, which takes place June 27-29.
The event is expected to feature all the top Brazilians who regularly compete on the BFTS. At one point, Douglas Duncan had talked about flying down and competing as well.
It is one of the few events Marchi will attend between now and the second stretch of events beginning in mid-August.
“Silvano wants to show everybody how to do a good event in his city,” Marchi said.
Alves isn’t merely attaching his name. He’s been hands-on and will return to Brazil this coming week to begin the promotional process.
“We’re doing this to raise money for kids who have cancer,” said Alves. “Those kids need the money.”
The proceeds will be donated to Hospital de Cancer de Barretos.
“I want to put on an event in Brazil that is like (the BFTS),” Alves said. “The best bull riders, the best bulls and production, but it’s for the hospital.”
In addition to raising funds, Alves said the event will have $60,000 added to the purse as well as awarding the winner a buckle and saddle for their efforts.
How did he get involved?
“Every year the city does something – a rodeo – and this year they weren’t going to do anything,” he replied. “Me and my buddies sit together and have a meeting and decided to put on a bull riding.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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