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Gallery: Yorkshire prepares for the Tour de France

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Christian Prudhomme gets his own yorkie for the Tour de France Grand Depart ribbon cutting

Christian Prudhomme gets his own yorkie for the Tour de France Grand Depart ribbon cutting
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Very important directions for the press

Very important directions for the press
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A very big Sky jersey.

A very big Sky jersey.
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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This statue in Leeds has donned the first maillot jaune of the Tour de France

This statue in Leeds has donned the first maillot jaune of the Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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A Tour de France stencil is being used to leave the race's mark around Leeds

A Tour de France stencil is being used to leave the race's mark around Leeds
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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All across Yorkshire light posts are draped in Tour de France finery

All across Yorkshire light posts are draped in Tour de France finery
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Leeds has its own Tour logo

Leeds has its own Tour logo
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The Black Prince looks quite fine in yellow

The Black Prince looks quite fine in yellow
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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A man enjoys the quiet of pre-Tour de France Leeds

A man enjoys the quiet of pre-Tour de France Leeds
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The store isn't open yet, but will be busy come Tour de France day

The store isn't open yet, but will be busy come Tour de France day
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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An inflatable bike is but one of the many public art projects that have popped up before the Tour de France's arrival

An inflatable bike is but one of the many public art projects that have popped up before the Tour de France's arrival
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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A big inflatable yellow bike in Leeds

A big inflatable yellow bike in Leeds
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Bernard Hinault, Christian Prudhomme, Gary Verity cut the ribbon on the Grand Depart

Bernard Hinault, Christian Prudhomme, Gary Verity cut the ribbon on the Grand Depart
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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It's not a 'loo', it's a phone booth, done up in yellow for the Tour de France in Leeds.

It's not a 'loo', it's a phone booth, done up in yellow for the Tour de France in Leeds.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The official store is open for business!

The official store is open for business!
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bunnies adorn the race vehicles in Leeds

Bunnies adorn the race vehicles in Leeds
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Yorkshire is ready for the Tour de France

Yorkshire is ready for the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Very official signage for the Tour de France route

Very official signage for the Tour de France route
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The buildings in Leeds get into the spirit

The buildings in Leeds get into the spirit
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Even the old royals get a touch of yellow.

Even the old royals get a touch of yellow.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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.