Agreed. I have found that it's much more linear and leveled off if you can stay in the front third of the pack. You then don't have to be subjected to the whiplash effect that transfers to the back of any pack. Staying on the wheel of the strong guys that drive the race will eventually make you a stronger rider and allow you to see strategy and tactics play out first hand. Just don't get suckered into being their wind block and pull through. If you find yourself on the front of the pack, do your quick pull without burning a match and back off. If they suck your wheel, stop pedaling altogether. You have nothing to prove to anyone out there but yourself. Getting on the front and showing out with a hard pull with not much in reserve will only allow them to rest in your draft and tire you out for later in the race. Eventually, someone will pull through, then you can fold back in. Keep as much in reserve for the last few laps, knowing that the pace will pick back up.