skip to Main Content
XC Racers

Cross Country


Cross-country (XC) racing at Sea Otter is en Fuego (“on fire”).

Fuego tests the fire of each athlete by way of sandy climbs and flowy singletrack of the Fort Ord National Monument. Your inner spark will ignite with the starting pistol to motivate your mind and body over this challenging and fun course. After traversing Fort Ord’s picturesque hills and trails, Fuego racers roll into *Casa Amigos to swap race highlights over lunch and a beverage. Choose between three unique cross-country distances — Fuego Short, Fuego XC and the Fuego XL. Medals awarded to the top three finishers in each category, and race winners receive a custom jersey.

All riders will receive: 

  • Fully supported race course 
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Complimentary four-day festival pass 
  • Complimentary post-race showers 
  • Secure bag drop 
  • Secure bike valet 
  • Fully catered buffet lunch at Casa Amigos (Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday – Sunday)
  • Complimentary Sierra Nevada beer 
  • Commemorative water bottle
  • Exclusive access to the *Casa Amigos Rider Lounge

Fuego Short Course (Junior Racers Only)

This spectator-friendly 5 mile circuit for our young riders (Grades 4-6) gives juniors a taste of the famous Sea Otter sandy climbs and rock gardens. Parents: after you grab a front-row seat for the sizzling action, you can join your juniors for post-race lunch at Casa Amigos* by purchasing an additional lunch with registration. 

Fuego XC 

The boiling point is set at 26 miles for this XC course that gains 3,900 feet over sandy climbs, flowy singletrack and Fort Ord’s diverse habitat and beautiful landscape. One of the most long-standing events at Sea Otter, the iconic XC race begins on Sunday and refines rookie riders into seasoned vets from the start to the finish line.

Fuego XL 

Turn the burners on high for the exciting Fuego XL, a two-lap marathon event covering 65 miles and 7,800 feet of elevation change and earn the title of El Campeon de FuegoThe Fuego XL also kicks off the 2023 Life Time Grand Prix, the newest off-road cycling series of seven iconic race events. Watch 70 of the best cyclists in the country crank up their 2023 season and compete for a $250,000 prize purse. Not only will Fuego XL kick off the 2023 Life Time Grand Prix—but it’s also now a qualifier for the iconic Race Across the Sky: the 2023 Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB on August 12, 2023, in Leadville, Colorado. HEADS UP! This event has a limited field size, claim your spot early!

*All Fuego riders receive exclusive access to Casa Amigos  — an elevated post-race athlete experience complete with showers, catered lunch, unique Sea Otter swag and the chance to swap race stories with other riders.

Prize Purse

Cross Country Prize Purse1st2nd3rd4th5th
Open Men Fuego XC$500$400$300$150$150
Open Women Fuego XC$500$400$300$150$150
Open Men Fuego XL$500$400$300$150$150
Open Women Fuego XL$500$400$300$150$150

What's Included

Race Registration includes:

  • Fully supported race course 
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Complimentary 4-day Festival Pass 
  • Complimentary post-ride showers 
  • Secure bag drop 
  • Secure bike valet 
  • Fully catered buffet lunch (10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday)
  • Complimentary Sierra Nevada beer 
  • Commemorative water bottle
  • Exclusive access to the Casa Amigos Rider Lounge 

Medals awarded to the top three finishers in each category, and race winners receive a custom jersey.

Pre-Event Course Talks

We will be hosting a series of Course Talks to discuss the routes and prepare you for the Sea Otter Classic 2023! Professional athletes and course designers will join us to provide special tips and insight. You are invited to participate via Zoom or join us when you arrive on site in April. Links and details will be emailed to all registered athletes. Bring your questions and get them answered by the Sea Otter team!

On-line Course Talks:

Monday, January 23 – 6pm PST – New Route! Gran Fondo Carmelo presented by Outside plus Q&A on all events
Sunday, February 19 – 4pm PST – Participant Q&A on all events
Tuesday, March 8 – 6pm PST – *Fuego XL/XC and Fuego SHORT course plus Q&A on all events
Thursday, March 30 – 6pm PST -La Gravilla route plus Q&A on all events
Monday, April 10 – 6pm PST – Athlete parking, race number pick-up plus Q&A on all events


In-person/on-site Course Talk at Casa Amigos
Thursday April 20 – 7pm PST – Final routes, how best to prepare for your event plus Q&A on all events


Each race is a wave start race categorized by ability and age classes. Race distances vary by ability and age category.

Fuego Short: Fees/ Categories / Start Times

Fuego XC: Fees / Categories / Start Times 

Fuego XL: Fees / Categories / Start Times


Course Maps



Registration Info

Online registration opened November 1, 2022. Onsite registration at the event starts on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at noon. Event registration closes at 6:00 p.m. the day prior to the scheduled event. If you have pre-registered, you can pick up your event number on event day – up to 30 minutes prior to event start time. NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION. 

Registered athletes must pick up your race number in person (must have current, valid PHOTO ID). Pick up your race packet, complimentary 4-day Festival Pass, and purchase event merchandise at Athlete Registration.

Packet Pick-up hours

  • Wednesday noon to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. (Pre-registered athlete packet pick-up only. No Registrations.)

Riders that have already registered online can pick-up their packets the same day as their race

Switch Categories

Email with any inquiries. 


No refunds or transfers of race registration.

All Sea Otter participants will be required to submit a release waiver and assumption of risk form. Save time in line by completing them in advance. All Sea Otter participants are required to wear an approved helmet- no exceptions. USA Cycling Helmet Policy

BLM Requirements

The Fort Ord National Monument is open to visitors during Sea Otter. Riders need to adhere to trail rules and passing speed limits when passing a rider going in the opposite direction.  Passing speed limits during the tours (5 mph on single-track and 10 mph on roads) will be enforced.

Learn more here

Back To Top