Altitude vs. sea level

I race differently at altitude than sea level. At altitude if people are going way too hard for me, Ill just maintain my rhythm and then slowly pick up my pace if I can. I do this to make sure I dont blow up. Whereas at sea level Ill go with surges Ill make an attempt to stay with them if I think I can go with a little bit of a surge. Its harder to blow up at sea level. Tammy Jacques

Racing gets technical
Racing speeds have increased to where drafting sometimes comes into play. It didnt used to be like that. Before you just stayed with people for pacing. But now if you lose contact, its possible in some sections that you lose a draft. The people who have road experience will benefit from understanding drafting. The simple sport of mountain biking doesnt really exist anymore. The simple Sunday ride will never change, but the racing side already has and will continue to. I think its fun. Allison Sydor

Confidence at the start is key
To start well in a race, have a lot of confidence and be fairly aggressive. Its tough because even people who wont be a factor at the end of the race can start fast. I think the attitude to have for a good fast start is to make it your goal to be in the top 20 in the first quarter-mile, then be prepared to give a hard effort to be there. Susan DeMattei

Pass on the uphill
The best place to pass in a race may be on the uphill. Pro racer Steve Tilford says people screw up on the uphills. They slow down or lose traction. If you dont, youll pass.

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