Leeds Arena hosts Tour de France opening ceremony
- 3 July 2014
- From the section England
Participants in the Tour de France have paraded through the centre of Leeds and taken part in the opening ceremony.
Large crowds lined the route as all 198 riders travelled from Leeds University through the city centre to the arena.
The opening ceremony featured performances by Embrace, Opera North and Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh.
The event also featured a presentation of all 22 teams taking part in the race.
Defending champion Chris Froome, who received loud cheers as he rode into the arena, said: "It is the biggest event for us. I can't say how special it is to come back here as the defending champion."
Martin Green, executive producer of the ceremony, said: "We have about 200 performers and a further 300 people on video really saying the people of Yorkshire welcome the world.
"We have really tried to raise the bar on how the Tour de France starts."
The Tour de France begins in Leeds on Saturday.
A third stage, from Cambridge to London, will take place on Monday.
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