The 101st edition of the Tour de France actually begins in God’s county of Yorkshire, with the 109 riders starting the 2014 renewal with a flat stage between Leeds and Harrogate.
The Tour then continues between York and Sheffield on Saturday before the Cambridge to London leg on Sunday, with Chris Froome hoping to seize an early initiative as part of Team Sky who have delivered the goods in the past two years.
In 2012, Bradley Wiggins was the victor during what was a memorable year for the now-knight, although he has been completely passed over this year for a role in a team designed to ensure Froome becomes champion for the second year running.
The 29-year-old doesn’t have the big personality of Wiggins and the fact he was born in Nairobi means that the UK public haven’t taken him to their hearts, although he stands a brilliant chance of making it two on the bounce.
The climbs and the time trials should see Froome get the better of Alberto Contador, although a stop-start season for the former means that punters should be wary of piling into the even money, especially as there are one or two slip-ups that are bound to happen to any team competing in this Tour.
Alberto Contador has been Mr Consistent in the past twelve months and the chief Team Tinkoff-Saxo rider has won the Tour de France twice before, claiming victory in 2007 before winning it again two years later.
Paddy Power go 2/1 about the Spaniard and the bookies seem to think it could be a two-rider race even if a case can be made for Vincenzo Nibali, Talansky, Tejay Van Garderen and Alejandro Valverde.
Indeed, Froome regards Contador as his main rival and hopes that the superior qualities within Team Sky should be enough to see him over the line.
The Team Sky rider said: "I feel Contador is my biggest contender at this point. He's had a great build up, but it is not a two-man race."
"To come in as defending champion and to have that home crowd behind you is second to none," added Froome.
"To have that kind of send-off at the beginning of a three-week race will put us in a great position."
BETTING TIP: Chris Froome to win @ evens with William Hill.