PUEBLO, Colo. - For the past seven weeks, Renato Nunes has had the good fortune of living with his most recent event win.
He won the Built Ford Tough Series event in Pueblo, Colo., the last event prior to the series resuming in Tulsa, Okla., next month. The win moved him to seventh in the world standings, and was the 10th time in 19 events that Nunes finished in the Top 10.
It was a great way for the 31-year-old, who won the world title in 2010, to go into the summer break.
Nunes recorded eight Top 10 finishes in his first 13 events, before trailing off and then finishing the Pueblo event strong - after predicting a win once he saw the draw for the championship round.
"I feel great," said Nunes, who added that he's been working out nearly every day after having an injury-filled season in 2011.
The week prior to the Pueblo event, Nunes realized he had barely won $54,000 in 2012, and saw that many of his fellow Brazilian riders were at or above $100,000.
Now he's at $91,952.86.
He was slated to compete at the Calgary Stampede this week, however, while en route from Brazil, a flaw in his paperwork was discovered in Phoenix. Since Nunes was not able to enter into Canada, he's been replaced by Scott Schiffner.
Robson Palermo, meanwhile will be competing at the Calgary Stampede, while several other top Brazilian riders are continuing to compete in their home country.
Edevaldo Ferreira is currently atop the PBR Brazil standings and is closely followed by Magno Alves and Silvano Alves, who is only 1,575.25 points out of the top spot, despite regularly competing on the BFTS.
Brazil pays its national champion the equivalent of a $1 million bonus.
Nunes plans to return to Brazil for another couple weeks to be with family and friends, however, unlike the others, he will not be competing.
Instead, he's been working cattle and breaking horses on his ranch.
Regardless of who competes in which events during the summer break, Nunes will arrive in Tulsa having won the last event that matters most.
"It's awesome for me," he said.
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