BRAZIL – On a weekend when some of the PBR’s biggest Built Ford Tough Series Brazilian superstars returned home, it was instead a rookie by the name of Lucas Divino taking home the first Monster Energy PBR Brazil event victory.
Divino used an 89-point ride on Red Bull during the championship round on Sunday night to cap off a perfect 5-for-5 showing in Divinopolis.
The 23-year-old's victory pushes him to second in the PBR Brazil standings, while he is also in contention for the PBR Brazil Rookie of the Year crown.
Divino (5-for-5, 426 points) was one of three riders that rode all five of their bulls during the four-day event. Joander Nonato (5-for-5, 420.5 points) placed second, while 2016 PBR Brazil champion Dener Barbosa (5-for-5, 405.75 points) placed third in his first event in South America this season.
Barbosa earned 30 points toward the world standings with his third-place finish.
Fellow PBR rookie Claudio Montanha Jr. and three-time World Champion Silvano Alves each went 4-for-5, with Montanha taking fourth place (20 world points) and Alves splitting fifth and sixth place (12.5 world points) with Junior Lent.
Divino had to fight through severe back pain throughout the course of the weekend.
"I felt a lot of pain,” Divino said. “I needed the help of my friends to sit on the bull. However, I was very confident to beat the last bull and be champion."
Divino was born in the state of Goias, which is located in central Brazil. Goias has produced Built Ford Tough Series stars such as Valdiron de Oliveira, Emilio Resende and current world leader Eduardo Aparecido.
However, to succeed in Brazil most bull riders have to compete in the main rodeos in São Paulo. Therefore, Divino left his home in 2014 and moved to Southeast Brazil.
Divino was named the Rookie of the Year in the Circuit Rancho Primavera that same year.
He quickly drew the attention of three-time World Champion Adriano Moraes and was invited to compete at PBR Brazil events.
“He is a guy who wants to win,” Moraes said. “He stays composed, when he is on the back of the bulls. He is a guy who wants to be a champion, and he will have a bright future in PBR Brazil and, consequently, in the U.S."
Divinopolis was the first time Divino competed in the same event as Alves, 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi and PBR Rookie of the Years João Ricardo Vieira (2013) and Kaique Pacheco (2016).
"I was very nervous because I was riding with them,” Divino admitted. “When I won the event, they all came to congratulate me. I did not even believe that my idols were congratulating me. It was a dream come true.”
Vieira was impressed by Divino.
“He is a very dedicated guy,” Vieira said. “He likes to complete the 8 seconds. He is fun and knows how to play the game on top of the bulls.
José Vitor Leme still sits atop the PBR Brazil standings after going 2-for-4 in Divinopolis.
Leme has been off to a tremendous start this season, going 13-for-16 in PBR Brazil events.
The Divinopolis PBR event was a part of the Divinaexpo, which brought in more 200,000 people to the area.
To learn more about PBR Brazil, check out pbrbrazil.com
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