The chances of Burley-in-Wharfedale rider Scott Thwaites competing in this year's Tour de France when it comes to Yorkshire soared today.

His NetApp Endura Team have been given a wild-card entry into the world's greatest cycle race, which starts in Leeds on July 5.

Thwaites is in his second season with the team and is currently preparing for next month's Tour of Qatar.

Thwaites, whose 24th birthday comes during the race in the desert state, has twice won the Otley Grand Prix.

After hearing the announcement today, he said: "I knew there was a strong prospect of us getting a place, but you never know until these things are finalised.

"For me the prospect of being a Yorkshire rider racing in the Tour de France in my own county is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"It is up to me to work hard and earn my place in the team. It is something I have dreamed of. I would love to be the home rider being cheered on by a Yorkshire crowd."

Thwaites is heading for Majorca at the weekend for another six days of training with his team-mates before heading for Qatar.