After two years at the British WorldTour team, Cataldo did not receive a sufficient offer to continue in its colours.
“At my last race in China last year [the Tour of Beijing], I felt that my team-mates were sad that I was leaving,” Cataldo told Cycling Weekly.
“Out of the teams that I raced for, this was the one where I felt bad to leave.”
The Italian from Abruzzo joined Sky in 2013. He rode for Wiggins in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, helping the team to the time trial win on the island of Ischia, and supported Froome to second overall in the 2014 Vuelta a España.
“My best memory was from Tirreno-Adriatico in 2013, when we lined out the group and led Froome to the stage win Prato di Tivo. We did an amazing job that day.”
Cataldo placed 12th twice in the Giro d’Italia and won a stage in the 2012 Vuelta a España with Omega Pharma before joining Sky. In Great Britain’s super team, he worked for the leaders and had chances like in the 2014 Giro, where he placed second on the Oropa summit finish behind Enrico Battaglin.
“Don’t try to get me to make too many comparisons between Sky and Astana. Every team has its positives and negatives,” he said.
“I’m proud that I always did my work, I think I did it well. You have to leave my results aside because with my role, the results are relative, but I think I did good work with Wiggins, Froome, [Sergio] Henao or whoever was the captain at that moment. I did what I had to do. The fact that I’m at Fabio Aru’s and Vincenzo Nibali‘s side now is because they know about the work that I did in Sky.”
Sky let mountain men Cataldo and Joe Dombrowski go over the off-season to make way for Wout Poels, Nicolas Roche and Leopold König.
“I would have liked to stay,” he added. “They wanted to keep me, but it’s always an issue what is offered and what you want.”
Cataldo signed for the Kazakh team in turquoise, but kept a few lessons and memories from Sky.
“It was a big and positive experience both personally and professionally,” he said of Sky.
“I learned some training techniques and a lot about nutrition. In every team, you pick up something. I also learned while with QuickStep, but with Sky, as everyone knows, it’s rigid and programmed. It’s not too rigid, but it’s a very extreme system. Extreme in the sense that you focus a lot on one thing and maybe leave other things aside. You always have to compromise.”
Astana scheduled Cataldo to support Sardinian Fabio Aru this year in the Giro d’Italia. He is not on the list to support Nibali in the Tour, but explained that could change.