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Some thoughts.

1. Don't draft directly behind someone, but slightly offset (3 inches or so) to one side. It allows you to take a look at what's ahead every so often. It also makes it much less likely that you contact the rear wheel of the rider in front of you should he or she slow down without warning.

2. Complete nonsense for seated riding. In a short but all-out acceleration while standing ("sprint"), pulling up on the backstroke as an add-on to forcefully pushing down on the downstroke might get you a bit of extra speed for a few seconds.

3. Do a timed standing interval once a week. Put the bike in a relatively large gear (50 x15, for example) and for a specific time, pedal at a sustainable speed standing up and with your hands on the brake hoods. Start with one or two 60-second standing intervals the first week, then do one standing interval for 2 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 minutes per week after that. You will have to resist the powerful urge to sit down, but that's part of the drill. Because it gives a purpose to these intervals, it's mentally easier to do them up a slight grade or into a headwind.

/w
 
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