The Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España are all set to take place within a 71-day period (August 1-October 31), meaning teams are unlikely to use many riders in more than one three-week stage race.
“Each group gets a different colour and follows its own racing agenda,” Lotto-Soudal team doctor Jens De Decker told Het Laatste Nieuws.
"The aim is to keep the development between the (so-called) clusters as limited as possible. The less rotation, the less chance of mutual contamination.
We are even thinking of storing the necessary material for a short time in one place, in one country, by cluster. That would make it practically easier.
Riders and support staff may also have to answer daily questionnaires to evaluate each rider's condition, as well as regular medical check-ups - in a similar fashion to what Germany's top-flight football division the Bundesliga have been doing.
"This system makes it clear for us. Per group, we can also subject each member to serial tests, daily questionnaires, and/or medical check-ups,” De Decker explained.
We have to remain flexible. An important condition is that the rider in question is re-tested. Exactly how we will do that hasn’t yet been thoroughly worked out.