The Tour de France arrives in the UK tonight as all 198 riders in the world's most famous bike race take part in a city centre parade before appearing at the opening ceremony event.

The team presentation and opening ceremony at Leeds Arena will feature cycling stars like Britain's Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish as well as entertainment from Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh and the West Yorkshire-based band Embrace.

The curtain-raiser is a prelude to the opening stage of the 101st Tour, which starts in the centre of Leeds on Saturday morning.

Tonight's parade from Leeds University to the arena will involve all 22 teams taking part in the race as well as cyclists from local clubs and community groups.

Event organisers Welcome to Yorkshire say the opening ceremony at the city's brand new arena will be the first of its kind for the Tour.

As well as a performance from Embrace and Kimberley Walsh singing the official anthem of Yorkshire's Grand Depart with songwriter Alistair Griffin, the show will feature the band Hope & Social and Opera North.

Saturday's opening stage will see the teams ride to Harewood House, just north of Leeds, where the ceremonial start will be conducted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The riders will then tackle the hills and lanes of the Yorkshire Dales before a sprint finish in Harrogate.

British hopes are pinned on Cavendish, and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the route to cheer him on to the finish line in his mother's home town.

The royal visitors will also be in Harrogate to welcome the leading riders and the peloton.

On Sunday, stage two will take the Tour from York to Sheffield and feature some of the toughest climbs in British cycling.

Despite the opening two stages being billed as Yorkshire's Grand Depart, t he other side of the Pennines has also tapped into the Tour de France excitement with Rochdale making the most of the fact that a 0.6-mile section of stage two passes through the borough.

On Monday, the entourage moves south to Cambridge from where the teams will race in stage three to London and a finish near Buckingham Palace, on The Mall.

The Grand Depart is expected to attract up to three million spectators.