SYDNEY, Australia – The next generation of Brazilian talent has taken the reigns in 2018 with seven of the Top 10 riders in the world standings hailing from South America.
This weekend, that same group of riders has a chance to begin to cement a part of their legacy into the PBR record books alongside the previous generation of famous Killer B’s.
Team Brazil is leading the Sydney Global Cup following the first night of competition after a nearly flawless performance at Qudos Bank Arena.
Flawless may be even an understatement in all reality.
World leader Kaique Pacheco, 2017 Rookie of the Year and World Finals event winner Jose Vitor Leme, 2016 PBR Brazil champion Dener Barbosa, 2015 PBR Brazil champion Luciano de Castro, No. 2 Claudio Montanha Jr, No. 3 Ramon de Lima and Eduardo Aparecido combined to go 8-for-9 (662.75 points) on Saturday night.
Brazil leads Team Australia (8-for-16) by 5.75 points heading into Championship Sunday.
Fans can watch the conclusion of the Global Cup exclusively on RidePass beginning at 5:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 10.
It appeared as if Team Brazil was going to be a full bull ahead and finish the night a perfect 9-for-9 after Leme seemingly made a sensational ride aboard Rock The House during the team’s final out of the Bonus Round.
However, Leme actually slapped Rock The House at the 1.62-second mark.
Regardless, Brazil is quickly proving that the best team on paper may just be able to live up to those expectations in Australia.
“You know, I’m happy for them,” coach Renato Nunes said. “They know what we are achieving, and I saw how they’ve been with each other. But they’re impressive to me because I already know they ride so good. When you’re somebody that rides good, you respect somebody that rides good too. There’s nothing different. But I’m so happy for them. They have a lot of confidence.”
Nunes was a member of the last Brazilian team to win a PBR international team bull riding event in 2010.
In fact, the eventual World Champion that year clinched the World Cup victory for Team Brazil by riding Sooner Shaker for 89.5 points in the sixth round.
That 2010 Brazilian team was in ways the rise of the previous Killer B’s generation.
Nunes went on to win the 2010 title, while Team MVP Guilherme Marchi, who is serving as the alternate rider and an assistant coach for Team Brazil in Sydney, was well on his way to setting the PBR all-time qualified rides record (628).
2008 PBR World Finals event winner Robson Palermo finished third in the event average at that World Cup and would go on to win two more record-setting World Finals.
Then there was a little unknown rider by the name of Silvano Alves also riding for Team Brazil, and he has gone to have quite the legendary career.
Nunes talked about the opportunity of building their legacy with the young Brazilian squad, which has no other rider over the age of 30 except Marchi.
“For sure, yes,” Nunes said. “That’s what I told them in the locker room. I said 10 years ago, you guys dreamed to be good bull riders. Here you guys are. You are the best. Not because you won, but you proved it (by getting here).
“Now you’ve just got to win.”
Leading the way in the arena for the Brazilians Saturday was Pacheco.
The world No. 1 bull rider pushed Team Brazil into the lead for the first time Saturday night when he rode Chocolate Thunder for 81.25 points.
Pacheco then pushed Team Brazil into the lead in the Bonus Round by covering High Flying Akubra for 83 points.
“It is very important for the team,” Pacheco said. “It is a big pleasure to be here and to work hard with all of the best bull riders from all the countries.”
Pacheco is 7-for-8 in his career against PBR Australia bulls.
“They look like Brazilian bulls too,” Pacheco said. “They are good bulls.”
Nunes said there was no question that he wanted to deploy the best bull rider in the world in the Bonus Round.
“Kaique is very calm, and he knows how to ride bulls,” Nunes said. “He’s made three World Finals already. He knows how he has to do it to win.”
Pacheco has taken on a leadership role with the Brazilian squad outside of the arena as well.
Prior to the event, Pacheco was still researching videos of all the Bonus Round bulls with less than 15 minutes before the start of the Global Cup, and he was working alongside Marchi and the rest of the squad to take notes on all the bulls.
Pacheco has already doubled up in qualified rides this Global Cup after going 0-for-2 in Edmonton.
Team Brazil finished runner-up to Team USA at the inaugural Global Cup.
“Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” Pacheco said. “That is the life, but all the guys give their best this year.”
Team USA (7-for-9, 585.5 points) is certainly still in the mix in Sydney, as is Team Canada (7-for-9, 555.5 points).
Nunes knows he has the top Brazilian individuals, and now he is excited to continue to see them operate at full steam as one unit.
“If you put all the best together, they will be the best,” Nunes concluded.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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