BANGOR, Maine — Bull rider Kyle Jones of Troy, Missouri, made his Bangor debut Saturday night during the Professional Bull Riders’ Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour stop at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
He was greeted by wind chills of nearly 30 below zero outside the building.
But a sold-out crowd was on hand and Jones was impressed.
“I don’t know anywhere else you’d go where anybody would show up when it was negative-30,” grinned Jones. “This freakin’ event is awesome. The crowd was great. They really packed it up. This is my first time here. They told me it was good and it lived up to it.”
Jones and fellow Missouri native Dakota Eagleburger were among a group that drove 24 hours in a van to get to Bangor.
And it was an eventful trip to say the least.
“We ended up totaling our van [on Friday]. We went off the road in some snow and hit some trees. It was just a mess getting here but we finally got here and we’re safe,” said Eagleburger. “It’s cold here but the event is good.”
“This was one of the best ones I’ve been to all year,” said bull rider Brennon Eldred of Sulphur, Oklahoma. “It was awesome.”
This was the 18th event of the tour.
“When I’m out there, I can’t hear the music or anything but I can feel the energy in the building and I felt the energy tonight,” said bullfighter Nate Jestes of Douglas, Wyoming, who protects the riders from the bull after they are flipped off or dismount.
According to a news release, a combined total of nearly 10,000 fans turned out for the two shows.
“Bangor has proven to be one of the best stops on our tour. You just can’t find a better city and fan base and we are honored to be a part of the community when we are here,” PBR’s David Cordovano, the senior vice president of the Velocity Tour, said in the release.
“Our riders, staff and bulls look forward to coming back for many years to come,” added Cordovano.
Robson Aragao of Aracaju Sergipe, Brazil, won the event as he was the only bull rider to go a perfect three-for-three on the weekend. He was able to stay on each of his three bulls for the required eight seconds. He racked up a score of 248.5 points and pocketed $5,491.
He had previously won the 2016 regular-season finale in Portland.
Ramon Rodrigues of Antioch, California, was second with 173 points and he took home $4,891. Eldred Whitehorse and Keyshawn Whitehorse of The Woodlands, Texas, tied for third with 170 points and pocketed $2,941 and $2,875, respectively.
Eli Miller of Statesville, North Carolina, won $965 and rounded out the top five with 166.5 points.