For whatever reason, I am a great starter and the weeknight races are first come, first served at the start; usually second-row starter on weekend races. I start in the drops with my elbows out, this keeps me from hooking with other riders. I clip in the with the right foot just before 1 o’clock and push-off with my left foot a bit to get the bike moving. I also pace my start so that I don’t build a gap because at the start I’m racing for position, not to create a gap. Then I sit up to create some mayhem behind me and attack again at the next bottle neck (within reason) because this is the time in the race where you have total control over the whole field, and that’s a chance to grab a few more breaths. Then, I blow up and finish mid-pack, lol.
How often do you practice starts? I excel with starts, dis/re-mounts, and am the only guy occasionally hopping (shorter) barriers in cat-4 because I practice those things all year.