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Decisions made for a better season

Tue, May  26, 2009 - By Vegard Ulvang

Dear Cross-Country friends,

We have just finished one of the most exciting Cross-Country seasons ever with as many as three excellent highlights.

For the first time in many years, we had a tight and fair fight for the overall World Cup all the way to the last race in Falun for both men and women. We saw excellent FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec. Much better than expected, due to the good snow conditions and a well prepared organizer. And the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear with its final climb up to Alpe Cermis, now in its third edition, has really become the trademark and attractive event that we dreamed of.

16 nations entering the podium is another example of strong Cross-Country interest and top level performances from more and more nations and regions.

Our decisions from Cape Town, such as the bonus World Cup points in the 50km in Trondheim and the nation boxes in Liberec and Trondheim with ski exchange, have given a new tactical dimension to our race formats.  Our introduction of a semi-professional TD system will be evaluated, but it has in my opinion improved the sports part of our competitions as well as given our Race Director more time to develop the event part.

This year's agenda is a mixture of a continuous improvement of details in our competition rules and some new ideas. Most interesting is the possible introduction of a new World Championship organised as a multi-stage-event like the Tour every four years. On the table will also be a proposal for a new three-day "tour event " in Kuusamo in November similar to the successful World Cup Final in Falun.

There are also interesting ideas from our Race Director on how to improve the promotion of our sport such a new CC website, a common identity and new venue and media activities.

Better TV production has been an item for more than 10 years. I am really happy to inform you that I have just shared two days last week together with our TV expert group finishing a new TV production manual of more than 100 pages. It will be presented in Dubrovnik, and will hopefully lead to a more common standard and identity to our important TV transmissions.

I look forward to creative and good Cross-Country discussions both inside and outside of the meeting rooms in sunny Dubrovnik.

Yours Vegard Ulvang