Bradford pop star Kimberley Walsh and Brighouse band Embrace will be among the stars at what’s promised to be a spectacular opening ceremony for the Départ of the Tour de France 2014.

Defending champion Chris Froome and sprinter Mark Cavendish will also be among top cycling stars to greet the crowd on July 3, as Yorkshire welcomes 22 of the world’s best cycling teams which are taking part in the legendary race.

Embrace will headline the event, which will be the band’s first arena gig since their recent sell-out comeback tour and album.

Frontman Danny McNamara said: “It’s going to be amazing, to have one of the biggest annual sporting events in the world coming to our back yard and to be part of it is nothing short of massive, we're really looking forward to it!"

Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh will join York singer/songwriter Alistair Griffin on stage to perform the track he wrote called The Road – the official anthem of Yorkshire's Grand Départ 2014.

Kimberley said: “It is going to be a night to remember and one where we make history together, giving the Tour de France a true Yorkshire welcome. Performing at this event with Alistair in our home county is going to be a special moment for me.”

Executive producer Martin Green, who was head of ceremonies at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "We're breaking new ground here for the Tour de France with this ambitious show – it's something much bigger and completely new to the cycling world.

“With the theme of the event The People of Yorkshire Welcome the World, this will give the riders the entrance they deserve as the Yorkshire Grand Départ celebrations begin."

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "We know how enthusiastic millions of people are to make sure they get a chance to be part of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire and their first opportunity will be at the Opening Ceremony and Team Presentation on Thursday, July 3.

"Thousands of people will be able to see up close and hear from these cycling stars, witnessing a moment in history and making the Tour’s arrival an unforgettable experience."

The show, which takes place at Leeds Arena, will be broadcast around the world, with a special programme in the UK on ITV 4.

Hosts, ITV sports presenter Jill Douglas and the voice of the Tour de France Sebastien Piquet, will interview riders from the teams and Team Sky will parade their top secret Pinarello's Dogma F8 bikes which have been a year in the making and are reportedly the best bikes the team has ever ridden.

Tickets for the not-for-profit event start at £45 and are available at by phone on 0844 248 1585 or from the box office in Trinity Leeds shopping centre where no booking fee applies.