The Grand Depart of the Tour De France has officially begun, with a spectacular multilingual evening of dance, music and sport with Yorkshire pride on show.
Ten thousand people filled the Leeds Arena for the teams presentation, the ceremony that traditionally begins the world-famous race, and which was broadcast live around the world.
Outside hundreds of fans lined the route taken by each of the 22 teams in turn as they rode from Leeds Civic Hall straight onto the stage of the arena where the riders were introduced to the audience.
Entire families, school parties and cycling fans of all ages were all in the excited audience, which started arriving a couple of hours before the start. Several Tourmakers were on duty for the first time to welcome the fans.
Chants of "Yorkshire, Yorkshire" rang out as the ceremony reached its climax.
As Christian Prudhomme of the Tour's organisers ASO, and Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire stepped on the stage at 8.30 pm church bells rang out across the county in a deliberate echo of the bell-ringing that welcomed the London Olympics two years ago.
The Frenchman told the audience the Grand Depart would be "huge-enormous and thanked "God's own country".
The Yorkshireman couldn't initially start his speech as the audience kept on cheering and was almost overcome with emotion.
He said he had promised M Prudhomme the grandest ever Grand Depart. "In the next three days that promise will be fulfilled," he said.
Each team was warmly welcomed to the stage with some riders taking photos of the audience or waving at family and friends. A series of short films showcasing Yorkshire separated the teams, with York represented by York Minster.
The British riders got huge cheers, starting with Lancastrian Simon Yates, riding his first season as a professional.
The audience raised the roof for adopted Yorkshire son and cycling superstar Mark Cavendish and his Omega Pharma Quickstep team. His mother comes from Harrogate where he hopes to win Stage One tomorrow.
He got deafening cheers when he forecast that Yorkshire's Grand Depart would eclipse the London Grand Depart in 2007 which at the time was hailed as the best ever.
Veteran German rider and huge crowd favourite Jens Voigt of Trek Factory Racing praised the way every village on the route has prepared for the Tour, even ensuring the grass is cut.
Many fans were wearing the black and blue colours of British team, Team Sky, whose British leader Chris Froome is the defending champion and which had the place of honour as last to arrive.
They got a standing ovation as they rode on and both he and fellow British rider Geraint Thomas spoke how much they appreciated the support they had received in Yorkshire. Froome was cheered to the echo when he promised he and the team would do their utmost to retain the yellow jersey.
A replay of Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour in 2012 was also cheered.
The Voice of Tour Radio Sebastian Picquet and cycling journalist Jill Douglas hosted the show. The line-up featured the singers and orchestra of Leeds-based Opera North, who performed the opening number and towards the end an excerpt from French opera Carmen.
They were followed by the Hope and Social mass community music movement featuring rollerskating singers, a ukulele band and a primary school choir. The Phoenix Dance Company performed bike stunts in their routine in black skin costumes with strobe lights.
Songwriter Alistair Griffin and Kimberley Walsh of Girls Alive performed the official anthem for the Grand Depart and Embrace finished with a rousing number.
It was the first time the team presentation had been part of such a big ceremony. Traditionally it is free and the cost of the tickets for the evening long event raised controversy.