Britain's Chris Froome believes Spain's Alberto Contador is his biggest threat in this year's Tour de France.
The 2014 Grand Depart will be held in Yorkshire on Saturday, 5 July.
And Froome, 29, who won the 2013 Tour, is expecting a strong challenge from 31-year-old Contador, the winner in 2007 and 2009.
The Team Sky rider said: "I feel Contador is my biggest contender at this point. He's had a great build up, but it is not a two-man race."
The first three of 21 stages will be held in England, with riders racing from Leeds to Harrogate on Saturday, York to Sheffield on Sunday and Cambridge to London on Monday, before the event moves to France. It concludes in Paris on 27 July.
"To come in as defending champion and to have that home crowd behind you is second to none," added Froome.
"To have that kind of send-off at the beginning of a three-week race will put us in a great position."
Froome's victory in 2013 was the second successive triumph from a British rider after team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins won in 2012.
However, Wiggins, 34, has not been included in Team Sky's nine-man squad this year.
"Sir Dave Brailsford knows what he's doing in choosing a Tour de France team," said Froome.
"The nine guys who have been selected to ride the Tour this year are a real force to be reckoned with."