Cycling - Quick Step recruit Meersman

Omega Pharma-Quick Step have reached an agreement with Gianni Meersman for the 27 year-old Belgian rider to race with the team for the next two seasons.

Meersman leaves Lotto-Belisol after just one season, a campaign that saw him win a stage of Paris–Nice and the Volta ao Algarve.

"I'm very happy to become a part of this group and to ride side by side with great champions," said Meersman.

"(Team Manager) Patrick Lefevere had already sought me out in 2007. His faith in me is very important to me.

“My goal is to improve even more compared to last season and to try to increase the quantity and quality of my victories.

“When I have what it takes to make captain I'm going to play my cards and when necessary I'll also put myself in the service of the team, as I've seen many champions from this squad do."  

Meersman's arrival brings the team’s size to 29 riders for next season. 

"Gianni's arrival further improves the team's technical capacity," explained Lefevere.

"I'm expecting him to have a season as a major player in some Ardenne classics like the Brabantse Pijl or the Amstel Gold Race, as well as in some stages of important stage races or one day events.

“This year in races like the Paris Nice Gianni has proven to be competitive in close group arrivals and in arrivals on slight uphills.

“I'm sure that Gianni will be able to mature even more next year and garner some important results for himself as well as the team."

Meersman started his career with Discovery Channel before spending four years with Française des Jeux.