#PBR BFTS News: Kody Lostroh comments on the 2013 World Title Race….
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LOSTROH: ‘IT’S ALWAYS EXCITING, ESPECIALLY WATCHING A RACE LIKE THAT’
By: Keith Ryan Cartwright October 10, 2013@ 03:00:00 PM
- Kody Lostroh held off J.B. Mauney to win the 2009 world title in the closest race in PBR history.
- Lostroh edged Mauney by 594 points.
- Mauney currently trails No. 1 Silvano Alves by 1,393.75 points heading into this weekend’s final Built Ford Tough Series regular-season event.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. ― Their battle for a world title was so close, it was once said you would not be able to talk about one without mentioning the other.
That hasn’t been said of this year’s late-season battle as J.B. Mauney tries to accomplish the near-impossible by coming from just outside of legit contender status to upset two-time defending World Champion Silvano Alves, who until eight weeks ago appeared poised to ride away with a third consecutive PBR title.
It was actually talked about four years ago, when Kody Lostroh held off Mauney in 2009 and won the world title by only 594 points-the narrowest margin in PBR history.
Asked if the 2013 season reminds him of his own head-to-head experience with Mauney, who’s won four of the past eight Built Ford Tough Series events, Lostroh said, “Yeah, it sure does. I wish I was in either of their spots, to be honest with you. It’s fun to be in that kind of race.”
Mauney hobbled into the summer break this past May.
However, after a three-month respite in which he competed only sparingly at a couple Touring Pro Division events and the Calgary Stampede, he has had the most prolific two-month stretch of his entire eight-year professional career with the PBR.
J.B. Mauney won the 2013 Calgary Stampede.
He’s gone from ninth in the world standings to second.
“This is as good as I’ve seen J.B. ride,” Lostroh said. “He has an uphill battle, but he’s got a shot; and if Silvano screws up J.B. will take advantage.”
Time is not on Mauney’s side this year.
This weekend’s event, in Hollywood, Fla., is a three-day event, so he’ll have three long round bulls and hopes to add a fourth if he makes it to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. He and Alves will have another bull in the final 15/15 Bucking Battle of the year on Saturday night.
And, of course, it all comes down to six rounds at the World Finals in Las Vegas, which culminates on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Mauney has cut into Alves’ once comfortable lead by more than 900 points the past two weeks.
Although he still leads Mauney by 1,393.75 points, Alves has noticeably kept a close watch on the arena action. Television cameras have captured Alves repositioning himself behind the chutes whenever Mauney is up in the draw.
“Being absolutely, totally honest with you right now,” Lostroh said, “when I was in Silvano’s spot, I wasn’t looking over my shoulder. I knew J.B. was going to stay on his bulls and my job was to stay on mine, so I took that aspect of the game and kind of set it aside because it didn’t do me any good to worry about.”
After being informed of Alves’ growing interest, so to speak, Lostroh added, “Like I said, if that becomes an issue for a guy he’s got to take himself out of there because then it just becomes a mental challenge he has to deal with on top of riding a bull and dealing with the other challenges.”
Lostroh, who won the 2009 title despite dealing with a torn tendon in his left elbow, famously consulted a mental coach and read several critically acclaimed books on the subject of sports psychology.
However it turns out, like PBR fans from around the world, Lostroh will be watching.
Marco Eguchi is third in the world and at 2,418.45 points back he’s within the 2,500 points many observers believe is needed to have a shot at winning the 2013 world title. Brazilian rookies Joao Ricardo Vieira and Eduardo Aparecido are fourth and fifth in the standings.
That said, Lostroh, who is currently 15th this year, will be in Vegas looking to try and capture his first World Finals event win.
“It’s always exciting, especially watching a race like that,” Lostroh said. “It helps elevate our game, guys who aren’t in contention this year, to ride good and win the Finals. We’re not going to let these guys that are in the No. 1 spot take it away from us. We’re going to try and take it away from them too.”
He added, “It’s always fun to be around great bull riding. I’ve said forever that the atmosphere of greatness brings out greatness in others.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC