To date, RUSA board member Jennifer Wise has received AND processed 500 PBP applications from U.S. hopefuls, according to RUSA’s Web site.
That’s already well above the 460 RUSA members who participated in 2003.
The number of 2007 applications is certain to continue climbing. Entries had to be postmarked by yesterday, July 1, and they take a few days to process.
I have a bet with a friend -- a cold Orangina riding on the outcome -- that we’ll hit the 600 mark. My friend calls me a pessimist and has wagered we’ll go even higher. Stay tuned for the final count.
Assuming 600 is correct, that would represent a 23 percent jump in American participation in Paris Brest Paris.
Impressive? Absolutely. But not a huge surprise, given RUSA's phenomenal 32 percent growth in membership from 2003 to 2007.
Whatever the final tally, the U.S. contingent is likely to be the second largest pool of participants, trailing only the French riders, who typically make up half of the field.
Assuming 600 as the U.S. total that will start PBP, 1 of every 7 riders in the expected field of 4,300 participants will be a RUSA member.
For comparison’s sake, RUSA accounted for about 1 of every 9 riders in 2003.