Yorkshire indie rock band Embrace have been revealed as the headline act for the Tour de France Team Presentation at Leeds First Direct Arena on July 3.
The Brighouse outfit, who have three number one albums on their CV, will head up the traditional event which is being billed as the biggest in Le Tour’s 111-year history.
They will join York-based singer-songwriter Alistair Griffin and Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh, who will perform a duet of the Grand Depart anthem ‘The Road’, along with French singer Pauline Vassuer.
The spectacle directed by Martin Green, who was head of ceremonies at the London 2012 Olympics, will showcase the riders from all 22 Tour teams before they take on the Yorkshire Grand Depart stages on July 5 and 6.
Embrace 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.”
The chorus and orchestra of Opera North will perform under the guidance of conductor Philip Sheppard, who composed music for the London 2012 Olympics.
Leeds band Hope and Social, stars of the Yorkshire Festival 2014, will also take to the stage with around 100 people who have joined their Tour of Infinite Possibility that is travelling the county rallying communities ahead of the Grand Depart.
Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh 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.”
Broadcast around the world, as well as on a special programme on ITV4 in the UK, the showcase will be hosted by ITV sports presenter Jill Douglas and Sebastien Piquet, the voice of the Tour de France.
Stars of cycling including reigning Tour champion Chris Froome will be interviewed on stage during the spectacle, which will take place just two days before they race from Leeds’ Headrow and head for Harrogate.
Executive producer Martin Green 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.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Tour bidders Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “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.”
Tickets for the not-for-profit event cost from £45 to £85 and are available at www.letouryorkshire.com/tickets, by phone from 0844 248 1585 or from the box office in Trinity Leeds shopping centre where no booking fee applies.