Contrary to previous reports, FDJ rider Gianni Meersman will not ride for RadioShack-Nissan next year. The 25-year-old Belgian instead signed a two-year contract with Lotto-Belisol, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
After four years at FDJ, Meersman had decided to step up to a World Tour team again and looked set to join RadioShack in 2012. Having turned professional with Johan Bruyneel's Discovery Channel squad in 2007 and his father Luc being RadioShack’s logistics manager, the move looked logical, but the merger with Leopard-Trek changed the stakes.
Finally, Meersman will join Marc Sergeant's new Belgian team, where he will meet up again with former FDJ teammate Jelle Vanendert. Team management hasn't officially announced the new signing yet, but Meersman has been reported to have participated in a team building camp in the Ardennes region of Belgium last week and will be joining the team for a first training camp in Mojacar, Spain, on December 6.
The young Belgian won the Circuit des Ardennes this year and added up several top three placings, indicating that a team and race programme change may be beneficial for his career development.