the national sports rags are both blaming and not blaming native riders for lack of results:
Not living there I can't comment fully, but the number of juniors I saw riding in Belgium was evident, right down to them turning out in their club kits before Flanders to do hill repeats on the Muur. Whether that happens in France I can't say, but I think Jaja is probably onto something when he notes the competition difference between his day and now. As Dean Golich likes to say "if you want to ride 30mph, you've got to ride 30mph." Roughly translated, you've got to hurt to improve.