ASO's Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was given a warm welcome at the Leeds-Bradford airport today, with the strains of the French national anthem in the air and the entire region festooned in yellow.
"I'm very excited. I'm thrilled and impressed with Yorkshire and all its people have done," Prudhomme told the Express-Star. "In 2007, in London, the Grand Depart was unforgettable and there was a step-change after the Grand Depart in London.
"And I firmly believe after this Grand Depart in Yorkshire there will be another step-change."
The city centre in Leeds has been draped in yellow banners, flags, signs and decorations. Even the statue of Edward, the Black Prince, has donned a maillot jaune.
Farmers have reportedly dyed their sheep in the colours of the Tour's leaders jerseys, tractors are being fitted to become wireless internet hotspots for fans, and Tour-themed artwork is springing up throughout the region.
Enjoy this gallery from the pre-Tour preparations, and be sure to check back to Cyclingnews for live coverage of the pre-race press conferences and teams presentation on July 3 and 4.
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