The famous Col du Tourmalet was covered in a thick blanket of snow on Friday morning, a month before La Vuelta is due to finish on the climb.

A summit finish on the Tourmalet in Stage 6 is one of the highlights of the Vuelta route, but there have been concerns that the Autumnal running of the race could see the famous climb scrapped at short-notice due to adverse weather conditions.

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And the signs aren't good, with a September covering of snow being unusually early, even for that region of the Pyrenees.

Cycling journalist Peter Cossins reacted to the news saying: "This snow is freakishly early and it should be clear by then...", but the overriding view among cycling experts was concern that the Vuelta could be heavily impacted by weather.

The rescheduled 2020 Vuelta a Espana begins on 20 October and runs for a shortened 18 stages, ending on 8 November. The original scheduling of the race saw it begin with three stages in the Netherlands, but that arrangement has been postponed due to coronavirus restrictions.

No rider at the Tour de France tested positive for Covid-19 this month, although a number of team staff and Christian Prudhomme, the head of organising body ASO, did contract the illness during the three-week Grand Tour.

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