UP to three million people are expected to watch the Tour’s two-day visit to Yorkshire.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who represents the Yorkshire constituency of Sheffield Hallam, and was at Harewood House to see the start, used Twitter to urge viewers watching the race to get on their bikes.
He wrote: “All eyes are on Yorkshire today for #TDF #GrandDepart - but if we want a lasting legacy we need to get more people cycling.”
Towns and villages along the route have been decorated with miles of bunting, hundreds of yellow bikes and scores of banners wishing the riders well.
But some people have decided to target the helicopters that will cover the race from the sky with giant art works.
Among the huge images that have been created is a giant bike in a field near Sheffield which is twice the size of Dorset’s Cerne Abbas Giant.
The bike depicts The Krebs Cycle, the process by which the human body generates energy from nutrients in our cells, and celebrates the work of a Nobel Prize winning academic from the University of Sheffield.
It has been using almost 1,700 litres of paint and is more than 100 yards long.
And in the village of Addingham, , school children have created another massive art work in tribute to the Tour on their school playing field.
The village has the honour of being the only place to features in both stage one and stage two of the Tour, as the routes cross.
The project at Addingham Primary School has been done in conjunction with the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at Leeds University.
The world’s greatest bike race will take riders through 243 miles of Yorkshire, taking in the urban splendour of our cities and the rugged beauty of our countryside - all in front of an estimated audience of some three million people who are set to line the routes and a global TV audience of 3.5 billion.
Although le Tour has visited Britain three times before - in 1974, 1994 and 2007 - it will pass a landmark moment when it passes through the village of Reeth in Swaledale, as this will be the most northerly point the Tour has ever visited.
Riders will face one of the toughest tests of the entire tour when they take on a short stretch of Jenkin Road, a suburban street in Sheffield, which at a 30 per cent gradient is the steepest hill on the whole Tour.
The highest points in Yorkshire will come at Buttertubs Pass - or the Cote de Buttertubs as it has become known locally, as riders scale to 1,745ft.
Things will not get much easier on Stage Two, as riders scale 1,709ft to the top of Holme Moss.
The scale of the climbs are not the only draw-dropping statistics to come from the Grand Depart.
Organisers are using 100km of barriers and more than 40,000 traffic cones to control the event, with a further 2,750 portable toilets and 70 kilometres of event bunting to line the route.
Also along the way will be some 8,000 stewards to police the route helped by 10,000 Tour Makers, modelled on the London 2012 Games Makers, and more than 1,200 medical personnel.
All in all it will be one of the biggest days our county has seen in a generation. We might even forgive the fact that a short 1km stretch of stage two passes into the traditional county of Lancashire as it crosses the border into Rochdale.
Who says we Yorkshire folk are not generous?