TEAM Sky's Ben Swift is relishing the opportunity to race in front of home crowds at the eagerly anticipated Tour de Yorkshire.

The inaugural three-day event takes starts in Bridlington tomorrow and will welcome the return of some of the world’s best cyclists to the county following the successful Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014.

The Yorkshire-born sprinter was in Ilkley to celebrate the Tour coming to town. The spa town will host the first sprint on Sunday’s Stage 3 and Swift hopes he can capitalise on a partisan crowd.

He said: “There’s something special about racing in your home county and I can’t wait to get started. If it’s anything like the Tour de France, I know the local support will be amazing. I hope I can feed off that in the sprints and put in a good performance.”

Swift unveiled a giant replica of the official sprinter’s jersey, sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, at the Cow & Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor.

Riders will cycle right past the iconic landmark which has become synonymous with Ilkley and Yorkshire.

Swift admitted he would love to be in the running for the coveted Yorkshire Bank sprinters jersey, adding: “It’s been good coming up here to remind myself of the route. Stage 3 is looking particularly challenging but I’d love to be in the mix. "There’s a couple of tough climbs before we drop into Ilkley so I’ll need to hold something back for the sprint.”

In addition to sponsoring the race’s sprinters jersey, Yorkshire Bank is already an active supporter of cycling in the region through the ground-breaking Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries. The initiative, set up in partnership with Cycle Yorkshire, aims to give everyone in Yorkshire access to a bike and Swift was fully supportive of the scheme.