The Tour starts Saturday with a Grand Depart in Yorkshire. The region seems very excited for the race and has been actively promoting it - I even saw a pic of sheep dyed to match the leaders' jerseys.
Lots of story lines to develop over the next three weeks, and a few that started before the race begins.
Defending champion Chris Froome's team, Sky, made headlines by leaving Sir Bradley Wiggins (the 2012 champion) off the team. Lots of polemica about whether Brad and Chris don't get along and if Chris forced the exclusion, and whether Brad is a free agent who can't be trusted to ride for Chris, but in the end Brad took the high road and has indicated he'll go to the Commonwealth Games instead
Garmin left David Millar, a veteran cyclist in his final year and one of the founding riders for Team Garmin, off their team and that let to David tweeting a lot about how his team wasn't taking his calls and lots of other public handwringing.
Froome's biggest competition is likely to be Alberto Contador who was getting frisky at the Tour warm up Dauphine. Contador insisted he wasn't trying to win, just get in shape, but he challenged Froome frequently and showed his usual attacking style. Contador is hurt by the loss of one of his main support riders for the Tour, Roman Kreuziger, who is sitting out due to some passport irregularities (not the "I can't get a visa kind of passport problems, his bio-passport). Valverde is supposedly all in for a challenge, but it remains to be seen if he'll be competitive in the GC or if he'll try to get a notable stage win.
The sprinters will have their fun, with Cavendish trying to hold off Kittel, Sagan and a host of newcomers. The NBC Sports broadcasters will be busy trying to promote the US riders. BMC's Tejay Van Garderen has yet to really fulfill the potential he's shown and Taylor Phinney is out recovering from a serious leg injury incurred in the National Championship road race. Garmin's Andrew "Pitbull" Talansky rode into the headlines with a surprise win over both Froome (injured from crash) and Contador in the Dauphine. Ted King will be there for Cannondale so expect fashion reports from the King of Cycling Style.
Cycling Weekly's Race Preview
And Cyclingfans is a great site for links to live coverage and stage reports