THE Prime Minister has added his voice to excitement building ahead of the Grand Depart, saying the world's biggest cycle race will be a great advertisement for Yorkshire.

Speaking in the House of Commons, David Cameron said: "I think it’s brilliant that the Tour de France is starting in Yorkshire. I think it’s going to be a fantastic event for our country but it’s also going to be a great advertisement for Yorkshire and for all that Yorkshire has to offer.

"I’m very much looking forward to going myself and seeing some of the race and some of the preparations. I think it’s going to be a magnificent event and I will do everything to promote it apart from wear Lycra."

The Tour de France, recognised as the world’s greatest cycle race, takes in Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ilkley, Addingham, Otley and Skipton on Saturday, and passes through Silsden, Keighley, Cross Roads, Haworth, Stanbury and Oxenhope on Sunday.

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to descend on the district, community leaders are keen for Yorkshire to make the most of its turn on the global stage.

Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem), who has decorated his office window in Killinghall Road to say 'bonjour' to visitors, said: "It’s absolutely fantastic that the world of cycling will be descending on West Yorkshire over the weekend. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the best of the local area, bringing much needed tourism revenue into the City and perhaps more importantly promoting the huge financial and health benefits from cycling."

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins (Con) is also urging people to “get behind the Tour and show the world what our town has to offer”.

"The Tour de France is the world’s largest annual sporting event on a scale that is unparalleled.

"I am proud and thrilled that local residents, businesses and schools have chosen to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put our collective best foot forward as hundreds of millions of people across the planet prepare to tune in on TV.

"While I accept that there will be inconvenience for some, I have no doubt that this will be vastly outweighed by the incalculable benefits on offer."

Keighley town mayor, Councillor Graham Mitchell, added: "It is my fervent hope that we can use the race to attract many, many extra visitors who may want to ‘ride the route’ or visit our attractions, both this year and in the future, bringing much needed tourist income to the area."