By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Joao Ricardo Vieira continues to find a new level of excellence even at 36 years old.
Vieira set a new career-high on Sunday afternoon when he rode I’m Legit Too for 93 points in the championship round of the PBR First PREMIER Bank / PREMIER Bankcard Invitational in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“The bull (45.25 points) is electric, jumps in the air, cracking those back feet,” 2002 World Finals event winner J.W. Hart told Craig Hummer on the CBS Sports Network broadcast. “You’ve just seen this writing on the wall when he drafted him off that shark cage out there. The bull is giving it everything he has from the ground level. What a ride. What a bull. Congratulations to JRV.”
The ride capped Vieira’s perfect 4-for-4 performance inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, and it originally looked as if it might be enough to notch him the event victory.
The only problem for Vieira, though, was 2020 World Champion Jose Vitor Leme.
Leme answered Vieira’s heroics by riding Hundred Bad Days for 92.25 points to snatch the event win out of Vieira’s grasp.
Regardless, Vieira’s second-place finish has him right in the thick of the 2021 world title race alongside World Champions Leme, Kaique Pacheco and Cooper Davis.
Vieira earned 134 world points to move up to No. 4 in the world standings. He will head into next weekend’s PBR Express Ranches Invitational in Oklahoma City only 183 points behind world leader Pacheco.
Pacheco concluded the weekend 1-for-3, while Davis left Sioux Falls with a concussion he sustained in Round 1.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Sioux Falls were Dener Barbosa (3-for-4, 258.75), Cody Nance (3-for-4, 255.5) and Marco Eguchi (2-for-4, 176.75 points).
Vieira will turn 37 years old on July 28, and he will now look to become the oldest World Champion in PBR history. Three-time World Champion Adriano Moraes won his last world title in 2006 at 36 years old.
The 2013 PBR Rookie of the Year recently became the 19th rider in PBR history to reach 300 qualified rides on the premier series, and he has shown no signs of slowing down this year.
Vieira is 14-for-28 (50%) through nine events. He began Sioux Falls with 85 points on Just Another Gangster before riding Crazy Doc (87 points) and Sun Country (87.5 points) in Rounds 2 and 3.
On the bovine side, Marquis Metal Works Red Clark continues to push his name into the YETI World Champion Bull race. Red Clark was scored 46 points for bucking off Derek Kolbaba in 5.08 seconds.
Red Clark is third in the YETI World Champion Bull standings with a 45.41-point World Champion Bull average.
Professional Bull Riders – PBR FIRST PREMIER BANK/PREMIER BANKCARD INVITATIONAL 4/11/2021
Sioux Falls, SD, 2021 – Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 88.25-83.5-90.5-92.25-354.50-178.5 Points.
2. João Ricardo Vieira, 85-87-87.5-93-352.50-134 Points.
3. Dener Barbosa, 88-83.5-87.25-0-258.75-89.5 Points.
4. Cody Nance, 88-85-82.5-0-255.50-68.5 Points.
5. Marco Eguchi, 88-88.75-0-0-176.75-56.5 Points.
6. Colten Fritzlan, 88-0-87-0-175.00-48.5 Points.
7. Eduardo Aparecido, 85.5-86.25-0-0-171.75-34.5 Points.
(tie). Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 87.75-0-84-0-171.75-36 Points.
9. Derek Kolbaba, 89.5-0-0-0-89.50-33 Points.
10. Cody Jesus, 0-89.25-0-0-89.25-31 Points.
11. Cody Teel, 0-87.25-0-0-87.25-18 Points.
(tie). Ramon de Lima, 0-0-87.25-0-87.25-17.5 Points.
13. Silvano Alves, 86.25-0-0-0-86.25-12 Points.
14. Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-86-0-86.00-14 Points.
(tie). Andrew Alvidrez, 86-0-0-0-86.00-11 Points.
16. Chase Dougherty, 85.5-0-0-0-85.50-9.5 Points.
17. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 84-0-0-0-84.00-8 Points.
18. Alex Cerqueira, 0-0-80.75-0-80.75-11 Points.
19. Junior Patrik Souza, 78.25-0-0-0-78.25
20. Rodrigo Melgar, 0-0-63.5-0-63.50-2 Points.
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Boudreaux Campbell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Jess Lockwood, 0-0-0-0-0.00
João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0.00
Kyle Jones, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Shane Proctor, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Thiago Salgado, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Outlaw, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
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