On the Verge of History

Highlights

  • Silvano Alves is the reigning World Champion and is ranked No. 1 in the world.
  • Alves holds an 851.25-point advantage over L.J. Jenkins and is 1,080 points ahead of Valdiron de Oliveira.
  • Alves is vying to become the first back-to-back World Champion in PBR history.
  • Adriano Moraes is the only three-time Champion in PBR history, while Chris Shivers and Justin McBride each won two titles, but all three were unable to win back-to-back titles.

In This Article

FORT WORTH, Texas - Whether it's in casual conversation with fellow Brazilian riders or answering direct questions from the media, reigning World Champion Silvano Alves is rather subdued when it comes to talking about bull riding.

Some have gone so far as to say he's boring.

Though his personality and riding style may not be nearly as dynamic as former World Champions Adriano Moraes or Chris Shivers, the 24-year-old from Pilar do Sul, Brazil, is on the verge of making PBR history.

No rider has ever won back-to-back world titles. Moraes won three titles - 1994, 2001 and 2006 - while Shivers and Justin McBride both won the coveted gold twice, but none of them came close winning it two years in a row.

Alves, who is ranked No. 1 in the world standings and holds an 851.25-point lead over L.J. Jenkins, is the closest to doing so, and even he recently said, "There's still a lot to do."

There are two Built Ford Tough Series events remaining - this weekend in Philadelphia followed by the final regular-season event in Columbus, Ohio - along with six grueling rounds in five days at the World Finals in Las Vegas.

In all there are still 7,900 points available.

However, there are only nine to 14 opportunities to get on bulls between now and the crowning of the 2012 World Champion.

After 26 events, Alves is the only contender with a riding average above 60 percent and has already earned 11 more qualified rides than both Jenkins and Valdiron de Oliveira, who trails Alves by 1,080 points in the world standings.

When asked if he understood the significance of being the first rider to win consecutive world titles, Alves said, "It sounds pretty important.

"I don't know. There's still a lot to happen, but if, God willing, I do manage to do it I'm going to be really happy. I'll be happy because it's something that people will remember me for."

Alves' reticence to look ahead isn't just an act with the media.

He's equally unassuming with friends and family.

"I think, he's not thinking about it because every time I talk to him he doesn't say anything," said Robson Palermo, who is among Alves' closer friends in the U.S. "He cares, but he's trying to not think about it.

"He just comes to the event, rides his bulls, makes a score and tries to stay healthy. He's no joke. What he says is true. He's thinking about getting on one bull at a time every week."

According to Palermo, Alves spends time every day watching videos on online - www.probullstats.com and www.youtube.com - and studying the bulls, which consumes his free time.

He spends little, if any, time thinking about accomplishments or looking ahead to future records.

Instead he's focused on the present task at hand - to the point that Alves goes to bed visualizing bull rides and wakes up thinking about bull riding. Alves watches videos and visualizes himself making countermoves.

Whether he wins back-to-back title won't be known for another 25 days.

"I'll be happy because it's something that people will remember me for," said Silvano Alves.

It's impossible to know what the outcome will be, but 14 riders account for the past 18 titles. It's also worth noting that five different Brazilian riders - Moraes, Ednei CaminhasGuilherme MarchiRenato Nunes and Alves - account for seven of the 18 titles, including four of the past six and three of the past four.

Alves was the 2010 PBR Rookie of the Year and followed up by winning the world title in his first full season last year.

"It would be really big," said Palermo, when asked what it would mean for a rider to win back-to-back world titles. "You never see a guy come here and win back-to-back, and Silvano is almost there. Right now he's in first place again. He won last year and he has a chance to win this year. If he (does) like he's (been doing) - pick good bulls, keep his score and all that stuff - then for sure he's going to be there in first place and have a good chance to win again."

Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.

© 2014 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

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