That was the question that kept running through my head during the Davis Crit: Why have 5's in the 45+ race? Or 4's, for that matter?
Here's a logical observation: If the race is technical, you don't want lower category racers twitching around on the corners causing hazards. If the race is not technical, those same riders may be able to sit in and believe they can contest the sprint, which is even a worse safety scenario.
There's a reason that the 35+ race is typically 1/2/3. The same reason pertains to the 45+. The quality of racers, the team tactics, and the flat-out pace of the super-master field should, by now, have earned it the same respect as is given the younger masters, who would cough up their Espresso Gu if 4's and 5's were added to that contest.
Lets' have ALL 5's in the mentored 5 seminars, and offer the 45+ 4's the Elite 4 and 35+ 4 races. The numbers and quality of racing support a 45+/55+ 1/2/3 category as standard issue. If a 45+ cat 4 doesn't have 25 races and 10 top 10's, he shouldn't be racing against Bubba and Nolan and Peter and the armadas of Morgan Spinely and VOS.
Poignant post-script to Robert Liebold -- How about offering ANY 45+ categories for the Velo Promo crits?!? It's got to be time to update the ancient boilerplate race flyers to reflect the current demographics of the sport in the NCNCA.