By: Easton Colvin
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – As FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, brought back fans for its first touring event since the COVID-19 shutdown, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) Bluff City Classic created a shake up for multiple levels of competition.
Featuring multiple 2021 Unleash The Beast (UTB) tour regulars who had fallen victim to the premier series cut line and outside the Top 35 in the world, the toughest athletes in sports showed up to ride in Memphis.
As the dust settled, Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) had clawed his way to the top of the leaderboard and his first career PWVT victory.
Drawing Leroy (Davis Rodeo Ranch) in Round 1, Alvidrez electrified the crowed with an 87.5-point ride to tie him for second heading into the 15-man championship round.
After his first bull in the championship round fouled himself coming out of the chutes, Alvidrez was awarded a re-ride aboard Dang It (Davis Rodeo Ranch/Ed & Cindy Fogle). The two danced around the dirt for an 89-point ride to secure the Texan Alvidrez’s walk-off win with the final ride of the night.
With the win, Alvidrez earned 39 world points moving him to No. 32 in the world standings along with $6,528. The win also gives Alvidrez an automatic berth on the elite Unleash The Beast tour.
Another fellow Texan followed Alvidrez as Lane Nobles (West, Texas) rode his way to second. Matching up with a bull making his PBR debut in Round 1, Halpain -105 (Halpain Bucking Bulls), Nobles conquered the bovine for 86.5 points.
Reckless Red (Rafter JML Cattle/Lewallen) was the championship round mount for Nobles, and the two burst out of the chutes on the way to an 89-point ride, tied for first-place in the championship round.
Finishing just one point behind Alvidrez on two bulls, Nobles added 26.5 world points to his 2021 total, and took home $4,464.
Former National High School Rodeo Champion Cole Skender (Hamburg, Arkansas) continued his hot 2021 campaign with his eighth Top 10 finish of the season, this time ending the event in third.
The final rider to go a perfect 2-for-2, Skender covered CB’s Buck Naked (Barker Bulls/Sharp) for 86.5-points in Round 1. He then found his groove on Freddy Fender (XTB Cattle Co.) in the championship round with an 86-point ride.
The third-place finish gave Skender 14 world points and sent him to the pay window for a $2,688 check.
Another one of the UTB regulars who had fallen below the cutline to start off the second half of the 2021 season, Luciano de Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) rode his way into fourth place.
Taking care of business on Church Bells (Team Alaska) in Round 1 for 88 points and the round win, Castro couldn’t make the 8-second whistle on his championship round re-ride, bucking off of Control Freak (Davis Rodeo Ranch/Jeff Hammond) in 7.35 seconds.
Castro did pick up seven world points for his finish, moving him inside the Top 35 to No. 34 in the world and to battling on the elite UTB tour.
Another Texan, Ross Freeman (Kountze, Texas) rounded out the Top 5 in Bluff City. Getting fans on their feet late in Round 1, Freeman rode Freakin Wicked (Davis Rodeo Ranch/Ed & Cindy Fogle) to an 87.5-point score, tying him for second in the round.
But Short Pop (Team Alaska) proved too much bovine for Freeman in the championship round, sending him to the dirt in 5.03 seconds.
Freeman’s finish gave him 7.5 world points.
Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) continued his hot comeback from an early spring shoulder injury with a seventh-place finish, picking up three world points and moving him to No. 36 in the world standings, on the cusp on the elite UTB.
The 2021 Bluff City Classic was also a stop on the Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge, as Flying C/Flying P Bucking Bulls picked up the first-place finish and a $25,000 check with their 272.53-point score over three bulls. Cunningham/Scoggings tied Halpain Bucking Bulls for second with 270.33 on three bulls, and Rafter JML Cattle/Lewallen finished fourth with 269.79 points on the night.
The 2021 PWVT second half continues next weekend with the 2021 Carolina Classic on August 7 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Professional Bull Riders Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour
Bluff City Classic
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Andrew Alvidrez, 87.5-89-176.50-39 Points.
2. Lane Nobles, 86.5-89-175.50-26.5 Points.
3. Cole Skender, 86.5-86-172.50-14 Points.
4. Luciano De Castro, 88-0-88.00-13 Points.
5. Ross Freeman, 87.5-0-87.50-7.5 Points.
6. Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 87-0-87.00-5 Points.
7. Eli Vastbinder, 85.5-0-85.50-3 Points.
8. Carlos Garcia, 85-0-85.00
(tie). Junio Quaresima, 85-0-85.00
10. Bob Mitchell, 84-0-84.00
(tie). Seth White, 84-0-84.00
(tie). Jorge Valdiviezo, 84-0-84.00
13. Lindomar Lino, 55-0-55.00
J.T. Moore, 0-0-0.00
Michael Lane, 0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0.00
Lucas Fideles Souza, 0-0-0.00
Leonardo Lima, 0-0-0.00
Logan Biever, 0-0-0.00
Eli Byler, 0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0.00
Casey Coulter, 0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0.00
Adriano Salgado, 0-0-0.00
Venn Johns, 0-0-0.00
Dylan Smith, 0-0-0.00
Justin Houston, 0-0-0.00
Alex Cardozo, 0-0-0.00
Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0.00
Flávio Vinícius da Silva, 0-0-0.00
Bryan Titman, 0-0-0.00
Jake Morinec, 0-0-0.00
Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 0-0-0.00
Alex Jenks, 0-0-0.00
Ouncie Mitchell, 0-0-0.00
Cody Campbell, 0-0-0.00
Allen Burkholder, 0-0-0.00
Anthony Lyons, 0-0-0.00
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