Which was the is wind blowing ?
I love to ask that question to new riders.
If you ask a beginner it takes about 15 seconds for them to think about where it's coming from. If you ask an experienced rider the answer will be immediate...and usually by pointing. I always know where the wind is coming from....even when I'm indoors. But I might be a special case...I hate the friggin' wind in the way that people who have been attacked by dogs don't cry at the end of Ol'Yeller.
If you're a new rider, the first thing you should do is take notice of which direction the wind is blowing, and continue to reassess the direction as conditions change. Sometimes, especially in a pack, the direction will not always be obvious, but I've found that if you look hard enough you can always find cues from things such as flags in peoples yards, smoke from smokestacks, and which way the crops are leaning.
Once you've determined where the wind is, be sure to be on the opposite side of the field from it. Seems obvious enough right ? Often you're better off being further back in the pack and on the good side, than all the way up on the bad side.
When you get to a corner, many times your position relative to the wind will shift. You'll go from wind at your front left over to your back right. Use the accordion effect of the corner to switch your position from one side of the pack to the other. Anticipating these changes in advance of the corner will allow you to save energy and make an easy transition.
Be absolutely sure which was the wind is blowing at the finish. The rule of thumb I used to give juniors I coached was the ride backwards from the finish line in your 53x13 for 65 pedal revolutions and look for some landmark to start your sprint. Add or substract two revolutions for every 1MPH of wind you estimate and start your sprint from that spot.