Race prep is very important I've found out. The only racing I've been doing is the cross races(i'd like to change that), so i don't have the experience you guys do. But, I've found that being mentally prepared is just as important as the rest of your preps. If your thrashing around on the day of the race it distracts you from the race itself. With me and my four kids doing the race series it was very time consuming to clean and prep five bikes. I've resorted to having the kids help in bike preps. AT 13,12 10, and 7 they can only do so much. They can clean their bikes for the most part and my 13 and 12 year olds can do alot of the maintence. My oldest actually wanted to do his own bike by himself this last race and I let him while watching him with tips. I think it also teaches them respect for their bikes, how they function, how to fix problems during rides and races(no help in the races except for in the pits), and inspires confidence in their bikes and their abilities also. I start earlier in the week and try to have everything done, clothes laid out, tires, tubes, floorpump, tools, helmets,gloves,glasses, waterbottles, shoes, coolers loaded with food and drinks, goos,gels, beans, and power bars, and the water cooler clean and filled with cold water. The kids get to help with that also. Everything gets loaded into the trailer along with the bikes, covered and locked, the night before. That way all we have to do is get up, eat, get dressed, and go. That leaves just unloading, putting the front wheels on all bikes, checking tire pressures, handing out water bottles and helmets. While I'm doing this my wife gets us signed in, numbers pinned on( with the occasional pin prick (I think she does that to me on purpose), and our chairs set up, and ready to take pictures. You can concentrate on the race that way and everything goes alot smoother and is more enjoyable.