i think only a few people here have any idea what they're talking about.
the start is really important. you can load up the gate with as much pressure as you want before the start, even til the skis flex. watch the top of the gate. that's the part that moves the fastest when it drops (see physics 101) so that's the best spot to look for. once you're out of the gate pole plant a few times then tuck ASAP. think of it this way: if you're not tucking, someone else is. and that person is going faster than you. this is especially important in the qualifiers when you don't have much to judge your progress on.
as for the rollers and jumps you need to absorb the uphills and pump the downhills. once again stay tucked for as much as you can but if you need to open up before a jump think of sucking your knees up as hard as possible to meet the lip of the jump. that will stop the jump kicking you up into the air too high.
if there are any wu tangs in the course then you need to get some practise on them. you want to pre jump them. so pop off before you reach the top so that you land on the downhill side of rather than the top. be careful though, sometimes you need to touch the top or you'll eat shit. check out the vancouver olympic course for a good example. youtube it.
if you're coming 2nd in any race other than the final don't try to overtake the guy coming 1st. there's no point. top 2 will progress.
aside from that the best thing you can do is get lots of experience. get as many course inspections as possible at speed so you know how the features will affect you.
one last thing...if you're approaching the finish alongside one other dude don't waste your energy trying to push them over or pole plant. tuck as hard as you can, skis wide, body right down near the snow, head low. dont look over at him. just look down and make yourself as slippery as possible. races have been lost because people have looked sideways or up at the last second.