But visa hassles may delay his much-anticipated entry into the big time.
De Bod has merely dipped his toe into the WorldTour hype since the announcement – when the whole squad gathered for a week-long training camp in Cape Town in November.
He said the team only got together to gain some media coverage, have photos taken and to be supplied with their new kit and bicycles.
“I met all my teammates and coaches and it’s a really nice set-up. There’s a really nice vibe in the team,” De Bod told In the Bunch today.
“But I haven’t been with the team since then. I haven’t done any races or any other training camps.
“It feels almost the same, because I haven’t really been part of the team [yet].
“The SA road nationals will be my first race with the team and then after that the fun will start.”
The former Paul Roos Gymnasium pupil rode in the DiData Continental team for three years until 2018, his last season as an under-23 rider, which meant it was a make or break year for him.
“The team has a few goals for me. I also have some personal goals,” he said.
However there are no concrete plans set out for him as yet, especially as he is having issues with his visa applications.
“The Continental team is registered as Italian and the WorldTour team as South African, so I can’t get my Italian permit renewed.
“At the moment I’m looking at a Spanish visa, which can delay the start to my season in Europe.”
While the starting date of his European season is still uncertain, the 22-year-old said he hoped to get his visas sorted out by early March.
“I might do some of the classics, but nothing is definite yet. Those were just thoughts when we discussed our programme at the training camp.”
De Bod won the under-23 men’s category at the Strade Bianche last year and that will be a focus for him again, but this time as an elite rider.
He added that it would be a dream come true if he made the cut for an appearance in a Grand Tour.
“It’s a dream for anyone who starts professionally to do a Grand Tour.
“We spoke about it at the camp and depending on how I feel and react in the other long tours I might do the Vuelta a Espana [starting on August 24].
“But the chances are quite slim. If not this year, then I’ll make it a goal for next season.”
De Bod said he had built up some chemistry with a few of his new teammates at the training camp such as Denmark’s Michael Valgren, Czech Roman Kreuziger and Italy’s Enrico Gasparotto.
“We trained together in groups and I got to know the guys. Everyone is really nice.
“It’s great to have some of the older European riders in the team because they’ve been around and have a lot of experience.
“It was interesting chatting to them while we rode or were at dinner.”
De Bod has recently been training with his father in Clarens, Free State, enabling him to get used to the higher altitude ahead of the SA national road champs in Pretoria and his racing season in Europe.