Aragao Leads Top 35 Riders into Australia

PUEBLO, Colo. – The Spiderman is ready to dance Down Under.

Robson Aragao is one of four Top 35 bull riders in the world standings headed to Australia for the next three weeks to compete in three of PBR Australia’s November events.

Aragao will be joined by 2011 Rookie of the Year Rubens Barbosa this weekend at the Tamworth Invitational, before three-time World Champion Silvano Alves and 2014 Rookie of the Year Kaique Pacheco will compete with Aragao and Barbosa for the final two events on Nov. 14 (Troy Dunn Invitational) and Nov. 21 (Brendon Clark Invitational).

“This will be my second time,” Aragao said. “PBR Australia invited me to go and I said, ‘Yes, I am ready.’ This is very exciting.”

Aragao last competed in Australia in 2010 and even though he was looking forward to heading home to Aracaju, Brazil, to visit his family, he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit Australia again.

The 35-year-old is looking forward to a mini-vacation, while also having the chance to gain some points toward the 2016 world standings.

Last year, Alves earned 140 points, while Matt Triplett picked up 105, toward the standings from competing in three PBR Australia events.

“They have pretty good bulls in Australia,” Aragao said. “They are not as hard as America. America has the best bulls in the world. These are good events. All of the people will come to the event and see us from Brazil ride. Everyone in Australia is very supportive.”

Aragao, who is also excited to visit Sydney for the first time, is heading to Australia following a career-year on the Built Ford Tough Series.

He finished a career-best 22nd in the world standings and set career-highs in rides (14), riding percentage (26.42 percent), money earned ($85,595.64), Top-5 finishes (three) and Top-10s (four).

Barbosa, who won the BFTS event in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for his first career victory, tied a career-high by finishing 23rd in the standings.

Aragao nearly earned the first victory of his career in Des Moines, Iowa, and in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He also made it to the Final 4 of the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout – the final PBR Major of the season – in Nashville, Tennessee.

It was Aragao’s back-to-back performances in Tulsa and Nashville that really stood out to him when he was asked to look back at his season during the L.J. Jenkins Invitational BlueDEF event in Clovis, New Mexico.

“My favorite event this season was in Tulsa,” Aragao said. “It made me very happy. I rode pretty good and rode my bulls. I made 500 points in two weeks. That made me very happy. If I didn’t make those points, I don’t make the Finals.”

Aragao rode Lane’s Magic Train for a season-high 87.5 points in Tulsa. It was also the second-highest of his career.

This past season was Aragao’s first year at the World Finals since 2010, when he was bucked off by Back Bender in 4.3 seconds.

Aragao admits his 0-for-5 showing at the Finals was not what he intended, but he still was pleased with his season.

“I am very happy to have made the Finals this year,” he said. “I didn’t ride pretty well at the Finals this year, but I am happy. I worked very hard to make the points and stay over here.”

Not many thought the Spiderman had much left in the tank.

Following the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout he said, “I have surprised everyone with how I am riding in these two weeks,” Aragao said. “Everyone is saying, ‘How the hell did Spiderman earn that many points?’”

Now, Aragao, who is guaranteed a spot in the draw for the first 2016 BFTS events, is looking to prove that 2015 was no fluke.

“This was my best year, and next year I will try to do better again,” he concluded. “I will be stronger, more confident and be ready.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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