PUEBLO, Colo. – Before Kaique Pacheco had stormed onto the Built Ford Tough Series this year, Claudio Crisostomo was the latest Brazilian bull rider to make a splash on the BFTS.
Crisostomo won his BFTS debut in Springfield, Missouri, by going 4-for-4 and would later go on to finish 12th in the 2013 world standings despite competing in just six BFTS events. He placed third at the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Claudio Crisostomo puts up 89.75 points on Cowtown Slinger in Round 4 of the 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas.
Things began to shift downhill for the Barro Alto, Brazil, native last season when he first broke his left clavicle at the end of February in Kansas City, Missouri, while being bucked off by Lane’s Magic Train.
He eventually underwent surgery after trying to ride through the injury and missed four weeks before returning to the BFTS in mid-April. However, he was never able to truly regain his confidence from the injury out of a worry that he would injure it again.
To his dismay, Crisostomo indeed would break it again – this time in a different location on the bone –attempting a practice bull one day before the final regular-season event in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Crisostomo is ready to make a healthy return starting this weekend in Fresno, California, after undergoing offseason surgery on his clavicle following a 2-for-6 showing at the 2014 World Finals.
Coincidentally, Crisostomo’s returns comes almost a year to the date when he had tried to fight his way through his first broken clavicle at the Phoenix BFTS event the week after the 2014 Iron Cowboy event.
The time around, Crisostomo will be able to comeback with a clean bill of health and because of the new PBR points system, he has eight injury exemptions due to finishing 27th in the world standings last year.
Crisostomo has drawn El Capitan (0-2, BFTS) in the first round on Saturday night. Matt Triplett (87 points) and Billy Robinson (86.75 points) have ridden the bull in his only two BFTS outs.
Joining Crisostomo in making his 2015 BFTS debut is Aaron Roy, who will be competing on the BFTS for the first time in almost 22 months this weekend.
Roy will take on Jagged Edge (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.
Marco Eguchi is also returning from injury after taking the past two weeks off from the BFTS to heal his injured elbow. However, this is Eguchi’s last guaranteed spot in the BFTS draw before facing being relegated to the BlueDEF Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division.
It’s been a miserable 2015 for Eguchi and he trails No. 30 Cooper Davis, who holds the last guaranteed spot in the weekly BFTS draw by 177.5 points.
He will face Ranger in the first round, which will be the bull’s BFTS debut.
Both Crisostomo and Eguchi competed at the Portland, Oregon, BlueDEF Velocity Tour event last weekend to rehab their respective injuries. Crisostomo bucked off his bull, while Eguchi placed eighth with a 75.5-point ride in the first round.
Minus Chase Outlaw (torn rotator cuff), the rest of the Top 30 of the world standings is healthy enough to compete in Fresno. However, Rubens Barbosa (31st in the world standings) is out for the Fresno Invitational after breaking his ankle at Iron Cowboy.
Mike Lee is the first World Champion that will have to use a World Champion’s exemption under the new PBR’s points system. Lee is tied for 33rd in the world standings and has nine World Champion exemptions remaining for 2015. The 2004 World Champion is only 37.5 points out of the Top 30.
Lee has the only rematch in Round 1 when he faces Merlot Man (8-7, BFTS) for the first time since being bucked off in 6.42 seconds at the 2012 Anaheim Invitational.
Lachlan Richardson is tied with Lee for 33rd in the world standings and is the second alternate behind Alexandre Cardozo. The 22-year-old Australian has Cookie Monster in the first round.
Cardozo is in the draw for the second week in the row and is the top alternate in Fresno. He is 32nd in the world standings and 22.5 points behind Davis.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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