Movistar have announced the signing of experienced and trusted duo Dario Cataldo and Davide Villella from Astana. The Italian riders have agreed two-year contracts that will keep them at Movistar until the end of the 2021 season.
34-year-old Cataldo won the Baby Giro in 2006 and seemed destined to be one of the best Italian stage racers of his generation. Instead, after spells at Liquigas, QuickStep, Team Sky and Astana, he has largely sacrificed his own chances of success to help his team leaders, becoming a key Grand Tour domestique and occasional winner.
A strong climber, the Lanciano native won a stage of the 2012 Vuelta a España atop Cuitu Negro and he out-sprinted Mattia Cattaneo to claim victory in Como on this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Villella turned professional in 2014 with Cannondale after winning the prestigious Giro della Valle d’Aosta as an under-23 rider. He won the Japan Cup in 2016 and the mountains classification at the following year’s Vuelta a España before moving to Astana in 2018.
Cataldo and Villella arrive at Movistar as part of an overhaul of the Spanish team’s roster. It has already been confirmed that Mikel Landa will leave for Bahrain-Merida in 2020, while Nairo Quintana is expected to move to Arkea-Samsic and Giro champion Richard Carapaz is slated to join Team Ineos. Manager Eusebio Unzue has already confirmed their departures from the team.
World champion Alejandro Valverde will remain at Movistar in 2020, while Enric Mas has been signed from Deceuninck-QuickStep to serve as a team leader in Grand Tours.