SKIPTON rider Pete Williams is eagerly anticipating this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

The race, which starts Thursday and finishes on Sunday, when it will pass through the heart of Craven.

"These are all my local training roads, so it's be a good one," said Williams. "Last year the route literally passed by my house."

"In terms of racing, I race all over, but the Tour de Yorkshire is a big event now, and so it's a massive event for the team."

Williams has joined a new team this year, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, which is sponsored by the Pateley Bridge-based bike manufacturer.

There are 13 members of the Swift Carbon team, and Williams is one of seven riders who have been selected to ride in the Tour de Yorkshire.

"I'll play a team role and aim for the breakaways to win one of the climbing jerseys or intermediate jerseys," said Williams. "Winning these is good publicity for the team.

"I've won plenty of jerseys in the Tour of Britain, so I'm hoping for success in the Tour de Yorkshire.

"One thing's for sure, we'll be looking to animate the race to get our name out there."

And although this year's race features some big names such as Chris Froome, Marcel Kittel, Greg Van Avermaet and Mark Cavendish, Williams is not fazed and is instead looking forward to race being on his "doorstep".

"This is my 12th year as professional and I've been racing those guys for years, but to race them on your own 'doorstep' is a great opportunity, and I appreciate the chance."