The Chicago Invitational Kicks Off The PBR’s Second Stop Of The 2018 Season

As the 2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour continues its path across the United States, we made our way to the Allstate Arena in Chicago for the second stop on the tour, the Chicago Invitational.  Last weekend’s event in New York began as a logistical nightmare for the office staff of the PBR who did an amazing job coordinating everything to ensure all the contestants made it to the event.  The event itself, along with a historic superstorm, caused New York City to turn itself upside down as the western lifestyle showed the city slickers what the sport was all about.  Once the three-day event was concluded many riders received the confidence that they needed to continue the march towards the 2018 PBR World Championship Title but only one man could walk out with the point lead and $100,000 to go along with it.  Gage Gay would take the early lead heading into this weekend’s event after earning 700 points just one week ago as he looks to continue that trend here at the Chicago Invitational!

Tonight, we would begin our first tour stop in the Midwest which will give those competing here this weekend a taste of what some of the best contractors in the business have for them throughout the rest of the year.  Brennon Eldred would quite possibly have the best match-up of round one as he would square off with Red Sails In The Sunset, a rider-friendly bovine that just might allow him to win the round.  In round one here tonight the herd from Chad Berger and Curt Check would take center stage with a few other fantastic bucking bulls from many other great stock contractors.  All in all, round one will be one that you will not want to miss as the action is set to kick off in just a few short hours from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois as we fight to see who will take home the 2018 Chicago Invitational event title!

Joao Ricardo Vieira Celebrates His Round One Split In Chicago

Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media

On paper, the match-ups that we would see in round one of the Chicago Invitational looked as if we would be watching more than half of those completed as qualified rides.  Although strong veteran and up and coming bulls, many of them are “marked” as rider-friendly.  Last weekend we were able to see nearly half of the field earn qualified rides in each of the five rounds which included the 15/15 Bucking Battle and Championship Rounds.  That being said, many times we see things on paper that does not play out once the action begins down on the arena floor.  Tonight, we were all wondering which side of the coin we would see once the first round of action was completed at the 2018 Chicago Invitational.  We would not have to wait long to find out the answer to our questions we had coming into tonight’s action at the Allstate Arena.

When things finally began to happen and round one began, it was the official kick-off to the second event of the new 2018 season and we were able to quickly get a feel for how this round of action was going to go.  Ride after ride, the fans in attendance were dazzled by both bull riders and bovine athletes as each gave their all to prove dominance to the other which made for many memorable moments early in the event.  After all was said and done, there would be eighteen of those thirty-five bull riders that would best their bucking bull pairings to earn a qualified ride to head into round two with a score on the board.  No one could best the effort that Joao Ricardo Vieira and Cooper Davis would put up against their bovine counterparts after posting 87.25 point rides that would take them to the top of the leaderboard after the first round here at the Chicago Invitational!

Nathan Burtenshaw Competes In Place Of J.B. Mauney

Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media

Last weekend’s event in New York City that kicked off the Professional Bull Riders 25th Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour left many of the top bull riders in the world beat up and battered to begin the long road to the PBR World Finals at the end of the year.  It is widely known that many of these athletes do much more than compete on the elite PBR tour as many compete on the other levels of the PBR as well that include Velocity Tour events which can cause injuries away from the main PBR tour that determines who will end up World Champion.  For those that follow along the tour with strict eyes, you will notice a few notable names missing from this weekend’s day sheets as many of the guys made their way to the Velocity Tour stop in Denver, Colorado to compete immediately after the event last weekend and were injured in the process causing them to miss this weekend’s tour stop in Chicago.

Three of the top thirty-five bull riders in the world were either injured or have taken a step out of active competition following the Buck Off At The Garden event last weekend, either hurt in New York or at the other PBR event they attended in Denver.  First of all, Paulo Lima was hurt while attempting to ride his bull at the Denver Velocity Tour event while another top cowboy reaggravated a prior groin injury that took him out of the competition.  Secondly, Robson Palermo had his face ripped open last weekend and has thus decided to leave the tour to regroup, sparking rumors of a possible retirement that he adamantly denounces.  Lastly, Nathan Burtenshaw would come to Chicago for his first taste of the elite PBR tour in place of 2-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney who would draw out of action because of his reoccurring groin injury that he has been nursing for quite some time.

Complete List Of Round One Qualified Rides From Chicago:

Cooper Davis (87.25)                                          Joao Ricardo Vieira (87.25)

Dakota Buttar (86.75)                                        Valdiron de Oliveira (86.00)

Guilherme Marchi (86.00)                                Jordan Hansen (86.00)

Cody Nance (85.75)                                            Ramon de Lima (85.50)

Silvano Alves (85.00)                                        Wallace Vieira de Oliveira (85.00)

Claudio Montanha Jr. (84.25)                         Mason Lowe (84.00)

Dener Barbosa (83.75)                                      Emilio Resende (83.00)

Cody Teel (81.25)                                               Cody Campbell (80.25)

Eduardo Aparecido (77.50)                             Alex Marcilio (64.75)

After round one here at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, we can all testify how a week’s time can change the tune of what can be expected at any given event throughout the PBR’s 25th Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour.  It was evident that the weekend was a tough one on the cowboys back in New York City as the ride totals were nowhere near what we were able to see just a few short days ago.  If tonight’s first round is any indication as to what we can expect to see here tomorrow afternoon the world’s top bull riders will have their hands full as they try to tame the 2,000-pound animals that will lye underneath them once again!  In just a few short hours all of the questions that we had will be answered as we crown the 2018 Chicago Invitational event champion on Championship Sunday.

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