Relay training at Ratnieki with the Swedes, French and Austrians.
First part was mass start 1st leg style. I had a poor line to the first control and my group was immediately behind with the others out of sight in the low vis stuff. Pushed hard through the next few controls side-by-side with Albin and Gustav with Thierry chasing me playing Per Forsberg relay commentary from his speakers. Then I lost my height focus for a bit on a forked leg and missed quite bad. Solo from there to the finish, losing some time through bumbling and lack of confidence through flat mixed-veg shite. Not great but valuable lessons learnt.
Made it to the start of the 2nd leg simulation with a minute to spare feeling pretty tired! Off about 30s behind Gustav and Gernot with Robbie by my side and the others starting at ~10s intervals behind. Thankfully the first control was downhill and I relaxed a little and hit my forking fine, catching Gustav in the process who must have missed. Almost everyone came together at the 2nd in some shitty fallen branches.
Throughout this race there would be somebody falling and screaming at regular intervals when we went through various areas of appalling crap. A bit of a game to try to guess from the swearing who it was each time. I had my own opportunity when I had a crazy fall about 5 metres down a steep bank into a streambed. Got my leg caught behind a log then somersaulted through a gap in some others logs narrowly missing bashing my head. Landed on my back and everyone around was quite nice and stopped to ask if I was OK. Everything felt surprisingly good so we got cracking.
From around #3/4 I found my rhythm and confidence, settling into a decent group of 5 or 6 headed by Albin, with Svensk, Lucas, Robbie and a couple of others. Nailed my forkings, sat in then held on as best I could when the pace got hot on the final runnable hills. Came through in 3rd behind Albin and Lucas, a decent way ahead of all the other Swedes which is the sort of confidence boost I was hoping for from today. It was tough fighty work at times, especially with my injured hand, but I seem to have held onto a decent amount of shape in the past month of pool splashing. Still time to sharpen up some more too.