By: Darci Miller
PUEBLO, Colo. – Just over a year ago, the inaugural PBR Team Series season culminated in the 2022 PBR Teams Championship in Las Vegas.
After finishing the regular season in the basement of the standings, the Nashville Stampede went on a stunning run in Vegas, sweeping the competition to earn the PBR Teams Championship. Led by Kaique Pacheco, Silvano Alves and Ryan Dirteater, the Stampede’s historic worst-to-first performance is the stuff legends are made of.
This weekend, the 2023 PBR Camping World Team Series Championship takes over T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 20-22. (Get your tickets now!)
What iconic moments await us?
Today, PBR.com’s From the Vault series looks back on the Stampede’s journey to the title.
LAS VEGAS – Nashville Stampede coach Justin McBride had just gotten done congratulating his team on its first-round victory over the No. 3 Oklahoma Freedom at the 2022 PBR Team Series Championship when 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco raised his voice.
The fire that was in Pacheco’s eyes when he rode Born to Sin for 88 points to help No. 8 Nashville defeat Oklahoma 264.75-176 earlier had returned.
“This place is different,” a passionate Pacheco said while looking into his teammates’ eyes. “Vegas is Vegas. We remember all the World Finals that were here. The energy is different. This stadium. This crowd. All the fans. That gives us our energy. This is an important place for every rider and his career who has rode here at some events.”
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves, who won all three of his gold buckles in Las Vegas, then erupted into a big roar, encouraging the raucous Stampede locker room in support of Pacheco, their captain.
LAS VEGAS – When Silvano Alves was asked on Friday night how he and the Nashville Stampede felt coming into Las Vegas for the PBR Team Series Championship, he grinned slyly.
“I like this place,” he said, a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
The world can always expect big things from the three-time World Champion in Sin City. He’s won his three gold buckles, plus the 2014 World Finals event title, with four 90-point rides, raking in more than $4 million.
Luckily for the Stampede, it was Alves up in a big spot with their season on the line.
In their Round 2 matchup against the No. 1 Austin Gamblers, the Stampede were up 178.75-175.25 with just two riders remaining – Alves closing for the Stampede and two-time World Champion Jose Vitor Leme closing for the Gamblers.
A lead of basically nil meant nothing with Leme looming and capable of throwing down 90-point rides with more ease than any rider in history.
In the most critical moment of the season, Alves converted for 86.25 points on Game Over.
Leme bucked off of Show Me Homie in a devastating 7.62 seconds, and it was indeed game over.
The No. 8-seeded Nashville Stampede are officially the Cinderella story in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS – The Nashville Stampede, who entered the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series playoffs in last place, proved that it’s not how a team starts a season, it’s how they finish, in winning the inaugural PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series Championship.
The Nashville contingent, stacked with talent, including riders with four combined PBR World Championships, continually disappointed throughout the regular season, finishing 7-20-1. But the squad caught fire and was dominant in the eight-team tournament in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. After concluding the regular season last in the league standings, the Stampede delivered a historic Cinderella run through the progressive elimination tournament, riding upset wins against the Top 3 teams to be crowned the first-ever PBR Team Series Champions.
“It’s crazy,” said Nashville Stampede Head Coach Justin McBride dirtside. “I got to win two individual titles as a bull rider in this sport, and it’s nothing compared to this. The buckle is awesome, but for me, it’s about these guys who never gave up and finished on top.”
LAS VEGAS – April Dirteater was standing in the stands at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday afternoon with tears streaming down her face as she looked on with pride at her husband, Ryan Dirteater.
April and her sister-in-law, Kassey Dirteater-Elliott, had been jumping up and down as Ryan rode Hundred Bad Days for 88.5 points during the PBR Team Series Championship Game for Nashville’s first qualified ride.
The ride was a huge turning point in the title game for the No. 8 Nashville Stampede and a major reason why the Stampede would soon be the Cinderella story of the inaugural PBR Team Series season.
No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders had just taken a 91.5-0 lead thanks to Eduardo Aparecido’s ride on Pickle Moonshine, and all the momentum appeared in the Ridge Riders’ hands.
However, Dirteater was unfazed and channeled the same poise he used exactly six years ago to the day. On November 6, 2016, Dirteater won the first-ever PBR Finals held inside T-Mobile Arena with an 89.75-point ride on Brutus.
Dirteater’s 2016 World Finals event title had always been the greatest achievement of his 14-year career.
That was until Sunday afternoon.
PUEBLO, Colo. – Nashville Stampede coach Justin McBride could see the smoke billowing at Silvano Alves’ ranch the week before the 2022 PBR Team Series Championship.
The smoke was well beyond the juicy Brazilian barbecue that Alves and his wife, Evelyn, were cooking up following the team’s final practice before heading to Vegas. McBride knew his team was not only hungry for some of Alves’ home cooking, but for bull riding success.
Ryan Dirteater and Matt Triplett had flown into Texas to train with their teammates, and McBride couldn’t help but think something special may be brewing as he watched his team participate in its final tune.
“Our practice sessions were getting pretty salty,” McBride said. “It was getting pretty intense and the practice pen was our sharpest of the year. I was like, ‘Oh! Ok!’ Direction change wasn’t a problem. The guys seemed ready.”
McBride had seen his team be the punching bag all season long, and at times they were even the laughingstock of the league. McBride, of course, understood that would be the case with the Stampede heading into Vegas at 7-20-1.
“Your record is still always your record,” McBride said days before the PBR Team Series Championship shaking his head in disgust.
However, McBride had a hunch that his team was ready to erupt in Las Vegas when the slate was wiped clean with every team would start 0-0 inside T-Mobile Arena.
Photo courtesy of Josh Homer/Bull Stock Media
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