12:29pm Sunday 1st June 2014
Tour de France champion Chris Froome praised the North Yorkshire scenery when he visited the county to reconnaitre the opening two stages of this year's race.
The 29-year-old British cyclist took time out to admire the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales as he and three other members of Team Sky rode from Hawes to Leyburn via Reeth in Swaledale over two climbs that will feature in Stage One of the world-famous race.
He told ITV the scenery was "breathtaking" and before his visit he hadn't realised how beautiful Yorkshire is.
The next day, cycling enthusiasts lined the bigger climbs of the second stage, which starts in York, to see Froome with teammates Richie Porte, David Lopez and Mikel Nieve in action, accompanied by their sports director Nicolas Portal.
He will return to North Yorkshire on July 5 to defend his title when the Tour de France starts in Leeds and will be in York for the start of Stage Two on July 6.
It is not yet clear if former Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the race, will join him on the start line.
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