These modifications were announced during the recent Nordic Forum, which brought together the FIS, the chief organisers of the of various national federations and media representatives before the start of the season.
The meeting took place on Tuesday at Oberstdorf, the Bavarian village which will host the World Nordic Ski Championships in February 2005.
The "hurricane" start, which should come into practice for the first time during the sprint event in March 2005 at Lahti (Finland), consists of introducing a staggered, but simultaneous, start for the 7.5km cross-country stage according to the standings following the jump competition.
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In this way, the first placed competitor following the jump event will adopt a starting position at the 7.5km mark; the second will start behind him/her at a rate of 360m for every 30 points, and so on.
All the competitors, except the leader, will therefore be required to complete more than 7.5km.
Until now, the point discrepancy following the jump event was transformed into time (with 30 points worth one minute) and the competitors left all left from the 7.5km mark, but staggered according to their departure time.
Regarding the Tour XC, the new rules should be brought in for the 2006-7 season.
Five courses have been previewed, of which two will be sprints, and will be raced over ten days in two or three different countries. The winner of this tournament should we rewarded with bonus points and time gains for the World Cup.
Finally, it was decided during the Forum that an U23 World Championships will take place for the first time in 2006.
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