So far, California has been pretty good to the cowboys that have made the trip west as the top bull riders in the world compete on the Professional Bull Riders 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour. Keeping that in mind, this is a very important weekend for those struggling to find their groove early on in the 2018 season since it is the first cut of the season where the guys from 30 to 35 in the world standings will be dropped from the tour later tonight and the five top riders in the Velocity Tour will take their places. One of those guys, Brady Oleson made his 2018 debut last night earning 60 world title race points, essentially guaranteeing he will stay on tour as he came into last night’s round one in the 20th spot and moved up one more spot to number nineteen heading into tonight’s second and championship rounds!
Knowing what is at stake following this weekend, we began to take a closer look at who was in jeopardy of being dropped off the tour and who would need to make big moves here tonight to make sure they stay on tour for at least a few more weeks. The most notable one on that list would be world champion Guilherme Marchi, who currently sits in the number 30 position, the bubble spot of the cut off area. Even with a round placement of any sort, he would almost be guaranteed to stay above the number thirty spot as he is only 1.67 points out of the number 29 spot, making this a do or die night for the champ! We will all be waiting anxiously as we all will be wanting to see what the first cut of the season will do to some of our favorite riders as well as some amazing up and coming talent.
Tanner Byrne Splits The Round Two Victory Here In Anaheim
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Last night, thirty-seven hopefull bull riders came into the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with one task, to earn enough points to stay on tour as we head into next weekend’s event after the first cut of the season. When things were all said and done, eleven of them would fair better than their opponents placed underneath of them with seven of them earning a few world title race points while they were at it. each and every one of those in the locker room tonight knew it was time to put up or shut up if they wanted to claim one of the thirty secured spots on the Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour for, at least, the next few weeks. Last night, a couple of those cowboys on the bottom of the bubble did what they had to do to earn the needed points that just might keep them on tour after heading north of the number 30 bubble spot currently held by Guilherme Marchi heading into tonight’s final rounds of action here in Anaheim!
As the nerves and anticipation grew, the fans began to file into the Honda Center in hopes of watching another huge round of professional bull riding action as we worked our way to seeing who would walk out of Anaheim with the event champion title. Like I said earlier, last night we see eleven qualified rides and expected to see at least that many again tonight, if not more as round two was set to begin. After everything was said and done there would be another eleven qualified rides made here in the second round, filling out all the fifteen available spots in the championship round that would determine who would leave with the event title. As things were finalized we would all become very excited about the weekend after both Tanner Byrne and Jose Vitor Leme would stay atop of their bulls for the required eight seconds to earn 87.75 point scores and the 100 world title race points that went along with the round win here on Saturday night!
Complete Breakdown Of Round Two Qualified Rides From Anaheim
Tanner Byrne (87.75) Jose Vitor Leme (87.75)
Guilherme Marchi (86.75) Cody Nance (86.75)
Marco Eguchi (86.00) Dener Barbosa (84.75)
Claudio Montanha Jr. (84.25) Silvano Alves (84.00)
Kurt Shephard (83.75) Eduardo Aparecido (82.25)
Jess Lockwood (79.25)
Stetson Lawrence Splits The Championship Round Win
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Once the first two rounds of action were completed it was time to turn our attention to the championship round earlier tonight where we would all find out together who would be crowned the 2018 Anaheim Invitational event champion! After a weekend where the cowboys were battered and bruised, just to make it to the championship round would be considered a victory in many of their minds. Before we could find out who would take home the win there would have to be the customary bull draft to take place in the center of the arena atop of the shark cage in order to give all the fans watching around the world a chance to feel like they were part of the action as well. Many choices would go the way we imagined but a few would raise some eyebrows and cause chatter among those watching the event live inside of the Honda Center.
When all the picks were made and the judge’s sheets were filled out it was time to conclude the 2018 stop in Anaheim with the much-anticipated Championship Round where the top fifteen cowboys from the weekend’s event would compete for the event title. This round, however, would not be an easy take by any means as the caliber of bull power would be tough to match here in the final round of action. After all was said and done, five of the fifteen competing would be able to make it to the elusive eight-second buzzer to earn a qualified ride, which would make for some dramatic results to ring the 2018 Anaheim Invitational to a close. At the conclusion of the round, it would be Stetson Lawrence and Claudio Montanha Jr. who would be announced as the co-round winners after making stellar 90 point rides aboard their bucking bulls to split the Championship Round win!
Cody Nance Celebrates His 2018 Anaheim Invitational Win
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Before we could close the doors and pack up the arena to make our way to Kansas City, Missouri for next weekend’s event we still had some unfinished business to take care of inside of the arena before the fans would be willing to file out the doors. Earlier tonight we saw another fantastic evening of professional bull riding action and all that was left was to crown a champion on the fifth stop for the 2018 PBR 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour in Anaheim, California! This weekend that man would be Cody Nance who managed to outlast all of his other competitors, all while earning 261.50 points atop three bovine athletes, taking home a whopping 513.30 world title race points while he was at it, securing his spot at the elite level as he makes his way towards the 2018 PBR World Finals this coming November in Las Vegas!
On the other side of the fence, his weekend as brought us to the first cut of the new 2018 season, making it a difficult time for those that would not be able to carry on with the others next weekend and beyond. As the realization came to the forefront, those knowing that their journey would come to an end for the moment could be seen walking back to the locker room area acting as if they have been defeated after losing a close battle. The good news that these men can take with them is that there will be another cut coming and if they can perform well on the Velocity Tour then they will, once again, regain their spot that they, moments before, had to give up to those waiting in their wake. A new feel and look will be waiting for us as we head back to the Midwest just a few short days from now!
Now that the late nights and the west coast swing is done for the first time this year, things will feel and look a little different as we head back to the Midwest following the first cut of the new 2018 PBR 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour. After a great weekend here in Anaheim for many contestants some are leaving here knowing they have to earn their way back onto the elite tour through the lower level Velocity Tour. Saying that, a few others had the weekend they needed to leapfrog over others and secure their spot for the foreseeable future. Although we are getting used to watching the On-Demand the morning after, many are wondering if this next weekend will be the time that the new digital platform of the PBR, Ride Pass, will make its debut and allow fans to watch all the action in real time but we will all have to wait and see!?
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