Taylor Toves, who was looking to find his way to Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals inside T-Mobile Arena November 6-10 in Las Vegas, found his way his ticket by securing the event title of the Rapid City Rumble last weekend. He used the final regular-season Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour to move up to world ranking No. 25 and punched his ticket to T-Mobile Arena.
Toves, a talented rider from Texas used one of the Velocity Tour’s biggest dates in tour history to make it to the most prestigious event in bull riding. With the pressure of trying to use the Velocity Finals, which start Saturday night to get into the World Finals, Taylor may be the rider to watch based on his momentum for the victory last weekend.
Jose Vitor Leme, world-ranked No. 1 bull rider, is coming to Las Vegas like he did in 2017 when he earned his way through the Velocity Finals and swept all of his bulls to win the World Finals event and become PBR Rookie of the Year. He is seeking to repeat his performance and put some distance between him and the world title race contenders – Jess Lockwood, Chase Outlaw – competing at Velocity Finals.
Lockwood ranked world No. 2 bull rider, who opted out of the Rapid City Rumble comes into the finals seeking to improve his riding percentage and play spoiler to Jose like the Washington Nationals did to the Houston Astro’s in game seven of the World Series. Lockwood sits a slim 496.66 behind Leme in the world title race.
Outlaw, the Arkansas native, and world-ranked No. 3 is someone who made his goal of 2019 to become the world champion bull rider. The driven-rider has been plagued by bucking off just shy of the 8-second whistle recently. Rather than allow it to discourage him, this just leads Chase to dig deeper and focus on his next bull. Chase, who was the Velocity Tour champion in 2016, is a rider who could be a threat to spoil Jose’s hopes of putting distance between him and the contenders inside South Point.
Looking over the draw for Round One of Velocity Finals, the stakes could not be higher for several riders trying to use the event to get into the World Finals. In fact, five crucial PBR World Finals berths are available at the Velocity Tour Finals which will be awarded to the 2019 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour champion and runner up, 2019 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals event winner runner-up and the top finishing international invite. Should any of these individuals already be qualified via the Top 35, the next rider in either the tour standings or event leaderboard will earn the berth to the most prestigious event in professional bull riding.
There are some rides that stand out from the others.
Ramon De Lima is matched up with Vanished (2-0) for round one, and De Lima has the skills to win the Finals as he was tied with Alex Marcillio but the tiebreaker was money earned and due to this Marcillio won the event. With this in mind, Ramon might be looking to secure the victory here that was within his grasp but then, slipped through his fingers like fine sand at the last second. This matchup should give De Lima a great start to VT.
With the momentum of his victory last weekend, Taylor Toves is looking to start finals off on a good foot, paired with Page 512 (0-0). Taylor’s win last weekend – an excellent 88 point ride aboard Redneck 0-0 can be watched here. After his round victory and event title, Taylor is a dark-horse pick to win the finals event.
In the razor-tight race to be crowned the 2019 Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Tour Champion, the top 12 ranked riders are separated by few than 440 points, with 10 poised to ride inside South Point Hotel Hotel and Casino. In addition to leading the world, Leme also sits atop the PWVT standings, 202.5 points in front of No. 2 Toves.
Fans who are unable to attend the Velocity Finals in Las Vegas and still, want to watch the action as it happens. PBR will be broadcasting the entire event on RidePass The subscription-based digital network will have exclusive coverage of round one starting Saturday nigh at 9:45 PM EST. As there are high stakes for each rider competing here fans will not want to pass on watching this round.