Every year the French public hope for one of their own to end Le Tour with the first home winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985.
Despite Christophe Moreau's talent - he is the most likely Frenchman to cause a stir - the public look set to wait another year for a win.
Moreau looked good for his eighth place last year but it is highly improbable he can match Lance Armstrong.
The only time he has ever looked an ample threat was in 2000 when fourth.
As the best French cyclist in the general classification, the weight of expectation understandably rests heavily on his shoulders.
But this year the 33-year-old knows his chances are increasingly running out.
He looks to have truly settled at Credit Agricole after what proved to be a difficult transition and is one of the few riders to get the better of Armstrong this season - when winning the five-day Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon.
It was a timely and impressive win for a rider who had pulled out of both the Four Days of Dunkirk and the Tour of Asturias.
When it comes to the Tour, he is also a former yellow jersey wearer, having donned the vest after winning the prologue in 2001.