It's a familiar place for Valdiron de Oliveira.
Only this time he's hoping for a different outcome.
It's the second year in a row he's returned from the summer break as the No. 1 rider in the world. It's also the second year in which a close family member is faced with health issues.
Last year, his father, Jovercino, had heart issues and time it's his mother, Dina.
Oliveira was visibly upset last year when he returned from Brazil to resume the Built Ford Tough Series, whereas this weekend he is noticeably more relaxed in spite of the fact that doctors have said his mother may need a stent put in one of her arteries.
"My dad was (harder) for me because there was more risk," he said. "My mom isn't at risk. The doctor said she will be OK. … I don't have to worry about her as much."
He went on to explain, "My mind is separate--my family and my profession--you know."
Oliveira said, after last year, he learned how to separate the two.
His father's illness was a contributing factor to his falling in the standings from first to second and losing out on the world title to Silvano Alves.
This year, he arrived in Tulsa, Okla., with a 632-point lead over L.J. Jenkins and was 788.25 points up on Alves. Originally he had planned to return to the United States at the end of July with the idea he would compete at a couple Touring Pro Division events, so as to not return to the BFTS without having gotten on a bull since mid-May.
He didn't arrive in Texas until Wednesday and two days later was in Oklahoma.
"I stayed because of my mom," said Oliveira, when asked about the extra couple weeks he spent with his family.
For the most part, he said he relaxed while home in Brazil.
"My mind is separate--my family and my profession."
The only riding he did was horseback riding and while he didn't ride any bulls he did attend one event and watched Alves win more than $50,000 at the annual Americana. In all, Alves won just shy of $71,000 during the break.
Oliveria's first bull since the Pueblo, Colo., event was Friday night when he covered Rookie for 80.25 points.
There were 11 qualified rides in the opening round of the Express Classic and he missed out on the first short round by one spot. However, he was still happy with making the whistle despite the fact that Alves made it in with 81.25 points.
Alves gained only 11 points on Oliveira after bucking off his second bull, while L.J. Jenkins bucked off in the opening round and fell another 80.25 points back.
"I feel confident," Oliveira said. "I need this right now."
While in Brazil, Oliveira said he trained, ran, exercised and underwent physical therapy, in Rio Preto, on his left shoulder. He said it doesn't seem to bother him and laughed after saying it felt 100 percent.
He later admitted that he's been told by two doctors that he might have ongoing issues with the shoulder when he gets older, but for the time being he has no plans to have it surgically repaired.
He's focused on winning the world title.
Oliveira said that he sees Alves' approach of keeping lower scores and declining re-ride opportunities as an advantage when it comes to holding onto his lead atop the standings--"I ride to win"--and although Alves is the reigning World Champion, he also added that sees Guilherme Marchi as the rider he most fears.
Despite being 33, Oliveira said he feels he can still ride another three years.
If he is fortunate to win the title this year, he said, "I would be back. My dream (would be) complete, but I want some more. I want one, two, three (world titles) and I'm a little bit old for four, five."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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