WORLD champion Lizzie Armitstead will race in this year's Women's Tour de Yorkshire race.
Armitstead, who hails from Otley, where the race starts, confirmed her participation as organisers announced the event would offer the most lucrative prize fund – a total of £50,000 – of any women's race in the world.
Taking place on April 30, the race, which will also be broadcast live on television, will follow a 135km route between Otley and Doncaster, going through Sherburn-in-Elmet and Monk Fryston, along the same roads on which stage two of the men's race will take place later the same day.
And the presence of the world champion's rainbow jersey in the field should help draw large crowds.
"The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women's race will be my first race in the UK in my world champion jersey and it's an absolute dream to be starting in my home town," said Armitstead.
The 27-year-old rider missed last year's inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, having complained that its 60km circuit meant the event was not worth the disruption it caused to her European season.
Armitstead, who won the women's road race at the world championships in Richmond, USA, last year, has enjoyed an outstanding start to life in the rainbow jersey and her victory in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda last weekend was her third win from four starts this season.
Organisers announced the Women's Tour de Yorkshire would be broadcast live on both ITV4 and Eurosport.
The record-breaking prize fund will see the winner collect £15,000, with £10,000 for second place and £5,000 for third – and prize money awarded down to 20th place.
Armitstead usually rides for Belgian team Boels Dolmans but will take part in the Tour de Yorkshire riding for the Great Britain national team, one of eight British teams that will compete in the race alongside six international teams.
Organisers also announced the line-up of teams for the men's three-day race.
Team Sky are one of seven WorldTour teams along with BMC, Dimension Data, Orica GreenEdge, Team Giant-Alpecin, Katusha and Lotto NL Jumbo.
Sir Bradley Wiggins is expected to take part with his eponymous Wiggins team, while Matt Prior's One Pro Cycling are also in the field.
The 198km third stage from Middlesbrough to Scarborough takes in Hambleton, Ryedale, the Cleveland Hills and the North York Moors.