OTLEY'S champion cyclist Lizzie Deignan has added a new title to her list - an honorary degree.

The multi-medal winning track and road cyclist - nee Armitstead - joined hundreds of York St John University students at York Minster today to receive the honour.

Taking the stage to accept her Doctor of Health Sciences degree, Lizzie said she was proud to become a graduate and congratulated all of the students graduating on the day.

The university's Vice Chancellor, Professor Karen Stanton, said: "Each year York St John awards honorary degrees to a small number of respected, influential and high-achieving individuals who inspire and motivate our students and graduates to achieve their potential.

"In this truly special year in which we celebrate 175 years as an academic institution, we were delighted to honour Lizzie’s outstanding impact as one of the most talented professional cyclists in the world."

Lizzie was one of eight household names who received an honorary degree.

Among the other celebrities 'graduating' at York were wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, rugby league star Jamie Peacock, Yorkshire-born chef and presenter James Martin, BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet and actress Julia Davis.

Born and educated in Otley, Lizzie won her first medal in the Junior Track Championships in 2005 after being talent spotted at Prince Henry's Grammar School.

She went on to excel in circuit racing and track, winning gold in the 2007 UEC under-23 European Track Championships and then claiming the world title in the 2009 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, competing in team pursuit.

Her focus shifted to road racing and she won a number of medals in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, where she was the first British athlete to win a medal, taking silver in the Women's Road Race.

In 2015 she was the UCI World Road Race Champion and this year won gold in the team time trial at the Road World Championships in Doha.