Historic Overview Gianni Meersman
Gianni Meersman (born 5 December 1985) is a Belgian former professional road bicycle racer for Deceuninck–Quick-Step. In 2012, he rode for UCI ProTeam Lotto–Belisol. After stage 3 of the 2007 Tour de Georgia, Meersman was forced to abandon the race due to a severe case of patella tendinitis. He treated the riders of the Grand Peloton, a charity fundraiser ride, to his presence as the Peloton Captain of the "Blue Peloton".
Meersman finally came to Grand Tour prominence, after 10 years as a professional racer, at the 2016 Vuelta a España winning two stages in bunch sprints. During the race, Fortuneo–Vital Concept announced that Meersman had agreed a one-year contract with the team for 2017. However, a diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia and scar tissue on his heart forced Meersman to announce his retirement on December 30, 2016. On 11 October 2017, Meersman was confirmed as the new sporting director for cyclo-cross team Marlux–Napoleon Games.