By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – The Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour championship has notoriously always been decided during the Velocity Tour Finals, including all five held at the South Point Arena. That will almost certainly be the case again this coming October.
The 2021 Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals is returning to the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa in Las Vegas on Oct. 30-31 after the PBR’s top developmental tour held its season-culminating event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last season.
Last 5 Velocity Tour Champions
2020: Mason Taylor*
2019: Jose Vitor Leme
2018: Alisson de Souza
2017: Alex Marcilio
2016: Chase Outlaw
*PWVT Finals held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The Velocity Tour is currently on its summer break and will resume on July 23-25 with the Bangor Classic at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine.
The Velocity Tour does such a great job at propelling riders to the Unleash The Beast that the top Velocity riders cannot run away with the Velocity championship during the regular season. If a rider wins consistently at Velocity events, he will crack the Top 40 of the world standings and eventually earn a draw spot on the UTB tour and not compete consistently at VT events in the second half.
Fifteen of the Top 35 riders in the world have competed in at least one Velocity event this season – 42.85%.
Bangor is one of two remaining VT events that do not overlap with an Unleash The Beast. The three-day event takes place just before the UTB second half gets underway on July 26-27 with Last Cowboy Standing at Cheyenne Frontier Days. The PBR Bucking on the Rez in Window Rock, Arizona, takes place on September 8 and is the last VT event with no overlapping UTB.
Austin Richardson, the No. 25-ranked bull rider in the world, currently sits atop the VT standings with 84.5 points. Richardson leads No. 2 Paulo Lima by 7.67 points. In fact, the Top 10 riders in the VT are separated by only 36.5 points – a rider earns 30 points for winning one VT event.
Let’s take a look at some of the standout performances from the first half of the Velocity Tour.
12: No rider has won multiple Velocity Tour events this season. Twelve different riders have left a VT as a victor – Richardson, Lima, Michael Lane, Conner Halverson, Jesse Petri, Eli Vastbinder, J.T. Moore, Marcelo Procopio Pereira, Caic Cassio Carvalho, Ezekiel Mitchell, Shane Proctor and Keyshawn Whitehorse.
9: Michael Lane has the most qualified rides on the VT with nine. Lane is ranked No. 3 in the standings.
54.55: Austin Richardson has the highest riding percentage among VT riders with at least 10 outs this season. Richardson is 6-for-11 (54.55%) in four events.
90.5: The best ride on the Velocity Tour in the first half was Richardson’s 90.5-point ride on Bring The Bling in Pensacola, Florida. It is the only 90-point ride on the Velocity Tour this year.
4: Manoelito de Souza Jr. leads the VT with four round wins. Four of Souza’s seven qualified rides have been for round wins.
46.5: Oilfield Outlaw’s Yellow Feather posted the highest bull score on the Velocity Tour in the first half with an impressive 46.5-point score when he disposed of Lucas Souza in 1.48 seconds. The out was the only 46-plus score on the VT this season.
$11,903.65: Paulo Lima, the No. 2 rider in the VT standings, has won the most money in the VT so far this season with $11,903.65.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andre Silva/Bull Stock Media
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