WORLD champion Lizzie Armitstead brought a rainbow of colour to a rain-sodden Otley today.

The cyclist was back in town only a week after winning the world championship to catch up with family and friends - and show her rainbow jersey to wide-eyed schoolchildren.

The 26-year-old visited her former primary, The Whartons, first thing this morning before giving a second assembly talk at Westgate Primary School.

Cheerfully fielding questions from pupils, she discussed the sport's joys and challenges, her training regime, and her plans for 2016.

Town Mayor Councillor Philip Bye (Lib Dem, Prince Henry's), introducing Lizzie, congratulated her on a "wonderful achievement", adding: "Good luck in Rio!"

Displaying one of her four training bikes, she drew gasps of amazement when she revealed that each one cost £10,000 and weighed just six kilogrammes.

She also showed the champion's rainbow jersey she will wear over the next year, along with the Gold medal won at last year's Commonwealth Games.

And Lizzie explained how her dramatic World Road Championship win in Richmond, Virginia, was helped by having two family members among the crowd waving a big LIZZIE flag.

She said: "I could see that on each lap which was really nice."

Turning to her hopes for 2016, she added: "It's the Olympics in Rio next year and that's the biggest dream of my career, to win gold there.

"Then a couple of weeks later I'm going to come back to Otley to get married - so it's a very big, important year for me."

The Year 6 pupils, bound for Prince Henry's Grammar School next year, were particularly interested to hear that Lizzie didn't start cycling until she was a teenager.

The champion was talent-spotted by coaches while at Prince Henry's.

She said: "I never had a bike until I was 15, so you've got a lot of time if you haven't started yet."

Lizzie, who now lives in France with her fiancé and fellow cyclist Philip Deignan, explained how sprinting and climbing were her main strengths - making short, steep climbs "like Otley Chevin" ideal for her.

She also outlined her hopes for women's cycling in general.

She said: "There's no Tour de France for women at the moment but I hope by the time you lot are ten years older there will be a better balance and more races for women, too."

Westgate Primary's Headteacher, Helen Carpenter, said: "We're absolutely delighted Lizzie chose to come along and visit just a few days after becoming world champion.

"Everyone in Otley follows her career and it has been so inspiring and exciting for everyone here to meet her."

Lizzie is the reigning World, Commonwealth and National road race champion and won a Silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics.