Paris Brest Paris - 2007 (#16)
The 2007 plaquette is in the mould of the 2003 edition, in fact they're almost identical. This time the translation is complete - in 2003 there were some headings, stats charts and a few other things that were in French. As in 2003 the text entries by representatives from some countries are in the native language and then repeated in an English translation.
Once again the finishing times are listed alphabetically within country groupings and there is absolutely no mention of the first finishers. So I think this confirms definitively the departure from acknowledging the "performance" aspect of the randonneur Paris Brest that had been such central part of event, and the plaquettes, before 2003. If we search for hints about why this change has happened we might turn to the remarks of Dominique Lamouller, President of the Fédération française de cyclotourisme (FFCT), highlighted in a large type in the call out box on page 6: "Another ethical dimension has been brought forward in 2007 by the organizer: gone is the useless and outdated search for performance." Useless and outdated… In the translation at least there is a sharp edge, even zeal, in these words. For continuity's sake I'll stick to the historical precedent and keep listing the first finishers in the previously acknowledged categories in the vital statics section below.
There is a distinctive design feature to the 2007 edition. The iconic 1891 photo/image of Charles Terront riding is reproduced as a shadow in the background on almost every page. There are also coloured squares and rectangles in the background. It might have been effective if used selectively (as in 2003 when it was just used for the cover), but I find the exhaustive use of the technique very distracting. There also is perhaps not enough discussion or pictures of miserable the weather we suffered through in 2007 - maybe an attempt to leave us with just happy memories. Not that I'm down on the 2007 plaquette - it's very nicely put together, and a fun browse.
I wish I had the French versions of both the 2003 and 2007 plaquettes to present here. If anyone would like to loan me their copy(s) I would take good care of them and return them to you quickly after scanning them. [Eric F.]
PBP 2007 Vital Statistics:
Participants (Starters): 5160
A selection of Photos from the 2007 Plaquette
can be found in the PBP Photos Section elsewhere on this site.
The 2007 Plaquette:
(Click to enlarge)