The 23-year-old South African, who rides for NTT Pro Cycling on the WorldTour, is competing in his first race that will take him beyond the week-long events he has experienced so far in his career.
After a week’s racing, De Bod, who won the Tour of Good Hope in 2016 and 2018 before heading overseas, said he was happy with his conditioning.
“I don’t feel too tired at all,” he said on yesterday’s rest day. “But this [riding for a week] is similar to other stage races I have done in terms of length, so it’s going to be interesting when I enter new territory in the second and third weeks.
“I know it’s my first Grand Tour, but it’s more or less what I expected and it is difficult to say what I’ve learnt so far.
“That will come in the second and third weeks when I see what I feel like after five or six hours on the bike each day.”
The winner of the U23 Strade Bianche in his first season abroad added that his strategy was to use his energy selectively.
“Sometimes you want to save energy for later in the race, but you also don’t want to reach a situation where you are not achieving anything. So it’s a matter of choosing when and how to spend your energy.
“You want to be in the front part of the peloton in case there is a breakaway, but you can’t follow every single move.
“It’s a case of choosing the moves to follow and to use your energy accordingly, and that comes with experience.”
A serious challenge, he added, was the weather in Europe.
“As South Africans we are not used to extreme weather and rain. Often when I was growing up races would be cancelled if the weather was too bad.
“But that is not the case here – the race continues and you have to get used to riding with visibility of sometimes not more than 20 metres and wet roads.”
The field faced drizzly and cold conditions in Sunday’s 146.4km stage, but De Bod said they knew they needed to be ready for more.
“The team have spoken about it and we know that will not be the last day of bad weather and that there will be worse days.”
The former national U23 road and time-trial champion is not putting any pressure on himself but is ready to grab any chance which comes his way.
“It’s my first Grand Tour so I will just be focusing on any opportunity that may arise,” he said.
“If there is a breakaway and the situation suits me and I’m feeling good, then, for sure, I will go for it.”