Ah yes. The Sea Otter Classic Pro Cross-Country Race... otherwise known as the California National Championships World Cup Pro XC race. It's always a good time.
Like the DH and the enduro, the XC track appears to be a bit watered down as compared to, say, Mount St Anne. But appearances can be deceiving. Let's take the track stats for starters: 2.9 miles (just shy of 5km) of distance ain't no big thing, now, is it? And 373 feet (114m) of climbing over that distance isn't overly challenging, either. But stir in 6 laps for the ladies and 8 for the men, and things start to get real. Add in a wee bit of a rock garden, a semi sadistic sand patch half way up the climb up from the start/finish, and a few high speed, loose, off-camber corners, and shit gets genuinely real. Not legendary real ala Mt St Anne; but real enough to qualify the Sea Otter Classic California National Championships World Cup Pro XC race as no simple walk in the park.