Cycling fans gave a standing ovation to Team Sky - led by Chris Frome - during the Tour de France opening ceremony in Leeds.
The defending champion said being the champion over the last year has been "massive".
He said: "I can't say enough how special it is to come back here as defending champion."
The spectacular event saw performances by Embrace, Opera North and Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh. The race gets underway on Saturday with the Grand Depart in Leeds.
Video from ITV4
Pro cyclist Ian Stannard swapped two wheels for jet power at the start of the Tour de France, by flying with the Red Arrows.
Mark Cavendish's Tour de France is in the balance after the dramatic crash which ended the Manxman's dreams of wearing the yellow jersey.
We've put together some of the best of our viewers' pictures of preparations for le Tour de France in Yorkshire