Thomas Voeckler will be making his final appearance in Britain when he returns to defend his Tour de Yorkshire title in the third edition of the race this coming April.

The veteran French rider beat Irishman Nicolas Roche, who was then riding for Team Sky, to overall victory in Scarborough last year. Now Voeckler, who rides for Direct Energie, is planning on making the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire his final race in the UK as he is intending to retire after this summer’s Tour de France.

Speaking last week Voeckler said, “I fell in love with the Tour de Yorkshire two years ago and it was a huge honour to win it after finishing third in 2015. This race feels like home for me because the crowd are always shouting my name, holding up banners or writing it on the road. I have never seen anything like it.”

He went on to say that he is immensely looking forward to competing in the race one final time and that he hopes to have a “major impact” on the race in whatever form he possibly can.

This year’s Tour de Yorkshire will be taking place from April 28 to 30 and will consist of three stages. The first goes from Bridlington to Scarborough, the second from Tadcaster to Harrogate and the third from Bradford to Sheffield.

During his impressive career Voeckler has won four stages of the Tour de France and has worn the yellow jersey for a total of twenty days.

He is a cult hero among many fans of the sport for his attacking style and he has become known for a variety of trademark facial expressions which television cameras tend to focus on when he is feeling pain.