Team Dimension Data’s De Bod, who won the under-23 road race title and finished second overall behind teammate Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg last year, aims to help repeat those same team dynamics.
“I will be working hard to get the elite title for one of the WorldTour riders in our team,” De Bod told In the Bunch. “That is our main goal.”
Last year, it was “not a race between Reinhardt and me”, De Bod added.
“It turned out great, with him winning the elite title and me the U23. I saw it as a win-win for our team, having two champions’ titles instead of one.”
It was important for DiData to have the elite jersey for the WorldTour team, he added. “It is always great to see the South African flag in our African team when we race in big European races.
“I would obviously want to win both the U23 title and elite, but I will do what is best for the team,” he added.
His teammate Kent Main, he hinted, will pose the biggest threat in the U23 category. “If it turns out that Kent takes the title, then I will be really happy for him.
“He is very hard-working and would deserve it,” De Bod added.
“Fortunately for us and unfortunately for him, Daryl does not have his team with him, like we do, so that can play slightly in our favour.”
Impey would still be dangerous, regardless. “Daryl has definitely shown great form recently and we are well aware of his strengths in this type of race.
“We can never relax when he’s on the starting line. He is here for a reason and it will be tough to beat him. We have to be on top of our game to take the title.”
De Bod has not raced in South Africa for a long time and said he was not too familiar with the local line-up.
“I don’t really know what to expect from the local riders,” he said. “One thing that I have learnt in cycling is to never underestimate your competition. Anything can happen on the day.
“I’m really excited for the race. It’s still early in the season and I’ve done everything right up until now.
“Now I can enjoy being back in action again,” he added.