Championship Saturday of the Minneapolis Invitational should be just as intense and full of surprises as round Friday night inside the Target Center.
The world’s best bull riders are eying the championship round, and there is a chance of any rider here in the Twin Cities making it to the short round on one bull. While there were 15 rides in round one, with Marco Eguchi taking a low score of 76, the door is open for a high scoring rider to make it to the short round.
Some stand out matchups stick out for round two.
Jose Vitor Leme bucked off during round one, opening the door to letting others gain his lead, but he was able to limit amount 15/15 winner Jess Lockwood gained on him by earning world points in finishing fourth in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. There are still points available with round wins, and the event title. If Jose rides as he had throughout September he could widen his lead again leaving Minneapolis.
Chase Outlaw is coming into round two with the momentum of making a ride in round one and placing for a tie for 5th/6th place. For round two he is paired with Preachers Kid. With one score on the board, Chase has momentum and is focused on another solid 8 seconds to ensure a good pick in the championship round. For this pairing, the edge would go to Chase based on the momentum of locking one ride down heading into round two, along with his newly shaved head. The inspirational cowboy reason for the Arkansas cowboy’s fresh buzz cut will be revealed to fans during a competitor break during tonight’s event that will become the talk of western sports and beyond.
Cody Nance has the bull Blue Crush which should be a great matchup. Fans may be able to see the “Nance Dance” today if he gets another ride. The edge may go to Cody, as Blue Crush is a tough bull to get by, but Nance is leaner and more than capable of getting a second ride for this event.
Cody Jesus is paired with Sitting Bull, as Jesus returns after being sidelined for two premier series events with a nagging groin injury and coming down early last night. Cody looks ready to gain another ride and gain ground in the Rookie of the Year race. This bull might give Jesus a chance to make it into the championship round.
Derek Kolbaba is matched up with Bottom’s Up. Should Derek get to the 8-second whistle on this great bull he may just challenge for the round lead. This rank bull will not make it easy for him to challenge for the lead, making the pairing one to watch.
These matchups will make for a great round two and should lead to an even better championship round.
The other interesting thing to watch is to see how Jose Vitor Leme responds to bucking off in round one. He did come back to finish fourth in the 15/15 Bucking Battle with a ride for 88.50. Jose wants to limit just how much the other world title race contenders – Jess Lockwood, Chase Outlaw, and Joao Ricardo Viera – can gain ground on him this weekend.
The world title race will become more interesting as every point becomes more and more valuable to the leader and contenders chasing him. With only two premier series events after PBR’s first visit to Minneapolis since 2006, the points available after this event will play a vital role in who is crowned the as PBR World Champion Bull Rider on November, 10th inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Fans can relive all the action from Round 1 of the Minneapolis Invitational at RidePass.com or via the RidePass mobile app. Fans can also tune in to CBS Sports at 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, October 6 for coverage of the tenth and final 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season.
Action inside the Target Center will continue with round 2 and championship round on Sunday starting at 6:45 CDT.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast the action from Championship Saturday, including round 2 and championship round, on Sunday October, 6 at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Fans will also be able to tune in LIVE via RidePass. The listen LIVE stream will be at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Saturday’s action will be just as exciting and full of many surprises as round one was. Fans won’t want to miss it.