Have race suit.
Ski on skis you know.
Be in the top 5 putting your skis on.
Look ahead at the gates to pick a smooth fast line.
Let others fail in front of you due to poor line choice.
Start picking them off from the top of Rossi race course.
Don't be afraid to let them know you're coming through
Tuck, tuck, tuck.
Back in the day the trick was to spray WD40 on boot soles just prior to start, to prevent snow sticking to boots and save a second or two clicking in. I also saw people put duct tape on boot soles for same reason, but I never liked the idea of interfering with clearances in the binding.
As others have said, the run, click in and skate/pole is the most critical part of the race. The winner almost always comes from the first five on course. The start is the only part of the race that can be practiced during normal opening hours, so get out there and practice.
Only did it once. From that I learnt, as with the others, the run is the bit which will decide your fate!
Reckon I was 25th or so after that damn run. Ended up 14th. What I learnt out of it was the hardest bit IMO is being able to get a clean go at the track once ur stuck in the middle. I didn't particularly enjoy it for that reason of feeling like I was constrained by good runners, but thats the game and I still want to have another crack.
I'd say just ride your normal skis? Unless you are used to race skis? Would have though u would need some time on race skis to really know them and make it worth it??