Stefan de Bod signs with EF Education-EasyPost

Budding South African looks to excel in time trials and stage races

November 10, 2022

EF Education-EasyPost are proud to announce the addition of Stefan de Bod. The 25-year-old Olympian brings time trialing and stage racing experience to our roster.

In just four seasons racing in the WorldTour, Stefan has proven himself to be a reliable teammate and a consistent rider, particularly when it comes to individual time trials. This year, Stefan placed seventh at the time trial at the UAE Tour in February, an improvement by one spot from his 2020 performance at the race’s TT, and also placed in the top ten at the Sibiu Cycling Tour time trial and the prologue at the Tour of Slovakia. He was the 2019 African continental champion in the time trial and has twice been the runner up at the South African time trial national championships.

While it wasn’t his first love, Stefan has come to appreciate time trialing and has worked to strengthen his aptitude in this solitary discipline.

“For sure time trialing is one of my specialties but I don’t think I’m a time trial specialist. I can do good results and potentially win but I won’t call myself a specialist. I don’t think anyone enjoys it but it’s a really nice feeling when you go at it and you get a good result. At the end of the day, when you win you know it’s because you were the strongest. Of course, there are aerodynamics and maybe one guy is more aero than another but at the end of the day it’s about who is the strongest and who can dig deepest to get to the finish line the quickest. That’s a good feeling. But I don’t think anyone enjoys that last couple of kilometers of a time trial. That’s not enjoyable,” Stefan says with a laugh.

"For me, riding a bike is just a part of your life. You just need to. It’s one of the best things that exist.”

Stefan de Bod

Where does this ability to push through the unenjoyable aspects of the sport come from? Stefan notes that since the beginning of his cycling career, he has faced challenge after challenge but he has never let them stop him.

“My first professional year was 2019 and I only had a three month tourist visa in Europe so that was a really challenging year. I did so many races like the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of Guangxi to get more racing days. Then 2020 was Covid so I don’t need to say much about that. This year had a difficult start because of sickness. In the last couple of years, I feel like much of the time it was difficult but I still pushed to get good results. For the future it shows that I can do a lot if I can reach my full potential. I’m proud that I’ve gotten through these years and that I’ve learned a lot about perseverance and grit.”

Stefan is not the only person convinced of his potential. Jonathan Vaughters, EF Education-EasyPost CEO, has kept an eye on Stefan’s career and believes the South African will prove to be a valuable addition to the team.

“Stefan is a rider I’ve watched for quite a while,” Vaughters says. “He’s an underrated talent that can be a key asset to a team like ours trying to focus on big results in hilly races. His time trialing had gone under the radar, but is an example of his level of talent. My hope is we bring him up to his potential, and he becomes invaluable within this team.”

Stefan is based in Girona, Spain during the season, so he already knows several of his new teammates. The conversations he’s had with them about the team over the years made him sure that signing with EF Education-EasyPost was the right move for him.

“Through the years I’ve always been looking at what a great team this is. The riders I know in Girona always have such positive things to say about the team and then there is the equipment. All the equipment the team uses is the best you can ask for. The people I spoke with always had positive energy and positive things to say about the team. It’s definitely going to be a good fit for me.”

Part of the fit is allowing Stefan room to grow and develop.

“In the last couple of years, I’ve had some really good results but I’d also been struggling to figure out what type of rider I am. I’m starting to figure it out,” he says. “I think I can develop into a really good breakaway specialist rider in big races and grand tours. Also I think I can develop into a GC rider for one week stage races. That’s my long term goal. I want to try to win stages from the breakaway because I see myself doing that first before I start going for the GC in one week races. Races like the Tour de Romandie, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Suisse, the Dauphiné, these kinds of races are my favorite races where there are some mountains, some flat stages and normally there’s a time trial or a prologue. That’s the goal, to improve on those races.”

For now, Stefan has a few more weeks of downtime before the EF Education-EasyPost team camp in December when he will sit down with the sports directors to build a road map to reach his goals. Until then, you can find him relaxing with his family at his parents’ home in South Africa, soaking up the austral summer as he begins to look toward 2023.

“I’ve started training again slowly now after a few weeks off the bike. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s just a really nice feeling to be able to ride in amazing places across the world, to see incredible nature. In some of the places I go mountain biking in South Africa, there are places a car just can’t take you. For me, riding a bike is just a part of your life. You just need to. It’s one of the best things that exist.”

We couldn’t agree more, Stefan. Welcome to the team!

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