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Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Offers Great Opportunity

By: Justin Felisko
November 12, 2016

Cody Nance is one of several BFTS riders slated to compete in Ontario and get a head start on their seasons. Photo: Andre Silva

Cody Nance is one of several BFTS riders slated to compete in Ontario and get a head start on their seasons. Photo: Andre Silva

ONTARIO, Calif. – It has only been six days since the PBR crowned its 2016 World Champion, but the race to qualify for the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series is fiercely underway for riders that fell short of their goals last season and others wanting to get a jump start on next year.

This weekend is the official start of the 2017 PBR season in the United States with Saturday night’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour season opener in Ontario, California, as well as the Touring Pro Division event in Goliad, Texas.

The Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour (RVT) is the PBR’s primary expansion tour, which was previously known as the BlueDEF Tour.

There will be five RVT events between now and the start of the 2017 BFTS.

Fans can watch all the action from Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on PBR LIVE. 2004 World Champion Mike Lee, Wallace de Oliveira, Cody Nance, Marco Eguchi and Keyshawn Whitehorse are tentatively expected to compete.

If last season is any example, fans will be able to get a sneak peek at future BFTS stars in the making in cities and towns such as Ontario; New Town, North Dakota; Hidalgo, Texas; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Southaven, Mississippi.

In fact, 11 of the final Top 35 riders in the 2016 world standings used the Velocity Tour to earn a full-time spot back on the BFTS, while 33 of the 35 riders competed in at least one 2016 Velocity Tour event.

Paulo Lima, who went on to win the first ever PBR Major in New York City last year, got his 2016 start with back-to-back expansion tour victories in Clovis, New Mexico, and Ontario.

2016 Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood used the tour to eventually make his BFTS debut in April and went on to have one of the best rookie seasons in PBR history.

Lockwood still remembers how special it felt when he rode Air Bender for 86 points for the Velocity Tour victory in Wheeling, West Virginia, in March and earned a chance to compete on the BFTS.

“I had rode short-round bulls throughout the year at the Touring Pros, but I hadn’t got one rode in the BlueDEF yet,” Lockwood said in March. “After I snapped that bull out in the BlueDEF short round it felt so great to know I was going to a Built Ford Tough after that and get those 80 world points. To get a short-round bull rode, there is no greater feeling than that.”

20-year-old Derek Kolbaba built off his 2015 World Finals appearance by winning the Velocity Tour event in Bakersfield, California, and then used back-to-back victories in Reno, Nevada, and Denver to solidify his Top-35 ranking.

“This is where it all works out,” Kolbaba said. “The (Real Time Pain Relief Velocity) Tour is a big help and another step to get you up to that level to where you can ride against the best guys in the world.”

2015 Velocity Tour champion Gage Gay agreed that The Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour is a breeding ground for up-and-coming bull riding talent and a savior for veterans trying to get back to the BFTS.

“If they want to be on the Built Ford Tough, or anything, that is where they need to go through,” Gay said.

With 31 events tentatively scheduled for 2017, there will be plenty of money up for grabs for the riders as well.

2016 Velocity Tour Champion Chase Outlaw won $87,946.93, including $50,000 for winning the championship.

The opportunity to gain points toward the world standings in the fall run has proved beneficial to riders trying to earn an early-season break and crack the Top 35 of the world standings before BFTS riders rack up points.

Winners of RTV events earn 80 world points and riders placing second through sixth also earn points on a graduated scale – 50, 30, 20, 15, 10.

Riders that finished inside the Top 30 (see below) of the final 2016 world standings are guaranteed eight BFTS events in 2017 before being subjected to the BFTS cutline. Riders that placed 31-35th (see below) are guaranteed five events.

Therefore, riders competing at the PBR’s non-BFTS events, as well as international events, have the opportunity to earn an alternate spot early on in 2017 or snatch up one of the potential five openings once the first BFTS cut arrives following the Anaheim Invitational on Feb. 4.

Any riders that are injured – Lachlan Richardson (torn biceps) and Aaron Roy (broken femur) –  or have retired, such as Valdiron de Oliveira, will be replaced by riders with BFTS injury exemptions (J.W. Harris, Matt Triplett, Alexandre Cardozo) or alternate riders in the early BFTS events.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Final 2016 PBR World Standings (8 BFTS Exemptions)
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)

1. Cooper Davis, 42, 6, 17, 5,930.00, $1,452,707.75
2. Kaique Pacheco, 50, 5, 19, 5,441.58, $448,801.38
3. J.B. Mauney, 33, 5, 17, 4,822.50, $368,512.93
4. Ryan Dirteater, 36, 4, 9, 4,547.91, $498,441.28
5. Joao Ricardo Vieira, 48, 4, 15, 3,420.00, $304,935.06
6. Guilherme Marchi, 31, 1, 10, 3,396.66, $321,771.20
7. Eduardo Aparecido, 41, 2, 10, 2,941.66, $176,477.00
8. Jess Lockwood, 47, 4, 17, 2,903.33, $177,778.68
9. Fabiano Vieira, 43, 5, 11, 2,621.15, $188,981.75
10. Mike Lee, 67, 2, 16, 2,301.66, $145,484.63
11. Shane Proctor, 35, 2, 4, 2,114.16, $209,281.66
12. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 53, 4, 12, 2,069.16, $214,270.95
13. Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 69, 3, 10, 2,017.50, $137,526.97
14. Chase Outlaw, 28, 9, 14, 1,974.16, $240,370.02
15. Tanner Byrne, 39, 2, 5, 1,845.83, $125,546.58
16. Lachlan Richardson, 58, 5, 13, 1,728.33, $98,624.87
17. Derek Kolbaba, 47, 7, 9, 1,727.50, $139,453.25
18. Stetson Lawrence, 41, 0, 8, 1,663.66, $118,772.13
19. Gage Gay, 46, 1, 7, 1,620.33, $103,677.24
20. Robson Palermo, 43, 0, 8, 1,607.50, $86,556.79
21. Mason Lowe, 37, 3, 7, 1,546.66, $94,149.66
22. Silvano Alves, 39, 1, 5, 1,517.91, $104,712.14
23. Ty Pozzobon, 32, 5, 18, 1,418.33, $139,677.03
24. Rubens Barbosa, 40, 1, 9, 1,381.66, $78,802.83
25. Valdiron de Oliveira, 52, 1, 8, 1,222.50, $105,541.64
26. Cody Nance, 43, 4, 12, 1,116.25, $83,327.14
27. Marco Antonio Eguchi, 55, 3, 12, 922.50, $80,946.85
28. Stormy Wing, 41, 0, 6, 860.00, $64,236.89
29. Aaron Roy, 47, 0, 5, 847.50, $57,165.38
30. Dakota Buttar, 31, 2, 14, 752.49, $73,587.07

Final 2016 PBR World Standings (5 BFTS Exemptions)
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)

31. Luis Blanco, 43, 5, 16, 740.00, $60,654.92
32. Tyler Harr, 50, 4, 12, 735.00, $62,686.11
33. Nathan Schaper, 46, 2, 9, 725.00, $88,128.59
34. Nevada Newman, 41, 1, 6, 640.00, $56,458.47
35. Kasey Hayes, 37, 1, 2, 595.33, $51,098.95

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.