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Triplett Slightly Opens Up World Standings Lead

PUEBLO, Colo. – For the fourth time in the past five weeks, world leader Matt Triplett has left a Built Ford Tough Series event with a lead of more than 700 points over No. 2 Silvano Alves.

Triplett may have opened his lead on Alves during this weekend’s Fresno Invitational, but five other riders (Fabiano Vieira, Valdiron de Oliveira, Cody Nance, Bonner Bolton and Eduardo Aparecido) picked up ground on the 23-year-old after he bucked off Mr. Bull in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in pursuit of his third win of the season.

Here is a by-the-numbers look at the Fresno Invitational:

110: Triplett increases lead on Silvano Alves

Triplett had a great chance Sunday afternoon to increase his lead over Alves and No. 3 Reese Cates when he entered the championship round sitting in the No. 1 position of the event average and Alves and Cates failing to qualify for the final round.

All things were pointing toward Triplett earning his third victory of the season when he selected friendly foe Mr. Bull with the first pick of the championship round draft.

However, Mr. Bull dispatched Triplett for the fourth time in six BFTS meetings, launching him to the ground in 2.14 seconds, ending Triplett’s opportunity to win the event average and 400 points toward the world standings.

Instead, Triplett only increased his lead on Alves to 790 points by accumulating 110 points toward the world standings in Fresno. He placed third in Round 1 with an 85.5-point ride on The Kid for 50 points toward the standings, and tied for third-place in the second round with his 86.25-point effort aboard Springsteen to pick up 40 points toward the standings. Overall, Triplett placed seventh in the event average for an additional 20 points.

It was a good rebound performance for Triplett, who snapped a 0-for-7 skip.

250: KISS Animalize rewarding Aparecido

Eduardo Aparecido has earned 250 of his 527.5 points in the world standings thanks to KISS Animalize.

Aparecido rode the bull for his first round win of the season on Sunday when he made the 8-second mark for 87.5 points in Round 2.

The round win gave him 100 points toward the world standings nearly two months after he earned 150 points by riding Jeff Robinson’s bull for 90 points to win the Monster Energy 15/15 Bucking Battle in New York.

The third-year BFTS veteran moved from 21st in the world standings to 16th by accumulating 175 points. Aparecido earned 30 points for placing fifth in Round 3 with his 86-point ride on Blowing Smoke and 45 points for finishing sixth in the event average.

6: Joao Ricardo Vieira attempts six bulls in two days

Fresno was no break for Iron Cowboy winner Joao Ricardo Vieira, who attempted six bulls a week after going 3-for-3 in Arlington, Texas.

Vieira accepted three of his four re-ride options and finished the weekend a perfect 3-for-3 to gain another 105 points toward the world standings.

The 2013 Rookie of the Year has ridden six bulls in a row and has earned 1,005 of his 1,275 points in the past two weeks to move from 26th in the world standings to No. 5.

Vieira trails Triplett by 912.5 points.

11: Fabiano Vieira joins Top 10 following win

Fabiano Vieira finished 3-for-3 in Fresno and earned 515 points to move from 18th in the world standings to seventh. The 515 points is more than the 485 points he had accumulated through the first nine events of 2015.

The 11 positions he moved up in the world standings was the most by any rider inside the Top 30 of the world standings in Fresno.

205: Bolton jumps to second in rookie race

Bonner Bolton was the top rookie performer in Fresno. Bolton used a career-best fourth-place finish (205 points) to move into second in the Rookie of the Year standings.

Bolton’s career-high 88.25-point ride on LL Cool J helped him earn 80 of his 205 points after he split the championship-round win with Vieira.

The 27-year-old trails Kaique Pacheco, who earned 10 points for tying for 13th place in the event average, by 800 points for the rookie hardware.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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