Tour de Yorkshire: Thomas Voeckler to defend his title in 2017 before retiring
Thomas Voeckler has confirmed he will defend his Tour de Yorkshire title between 28 and 30 April.
Voeckler announced plans to retire after the Tour de France in July this year, and the Tour de Yorkshire is set to be his final race in Britain.
"This race feels like home for me," said the 37-year-old Frenchman.
"The crowd are always shouting my name, holding up banners, or writing it on the road. I have never seen anything like it."
The 2017 Tour de Yorkshire will begin in Bridlington, with a 173km stage to Scarborough on Friday, 28 April.
In stage two on 29 April, riders start in Tadcaster and travel 122.5km to Harrogate, before the three-day race ends with a 194.5km stage from Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield on Sunday, 30 April.
Direct Energie rider Voeckler, who is renowned for his attacking style and has won four Tour de France stages, added: "I am looking forward to competing in Yorkshire one last time and I hope to have a major impact on the race, however I can."