|modern suspension forks with platform valving are quite firm under power
Maybe quite firm is not firm enough.
|the decision to not run a fork based on a terminal sprint is critical for sprinters only.
it ignores entirely the whole bit of racing up to the terminal sprint.
if you are beaten and uncomfortable, your sprint won't be as good as it would be if you weren't so beaten etc.
I don't think anyone can argue that point. it's the logic behind trying the Ruby in the first place.
sprinters are not the only racers. they are a tiny portion.
What Telerod said : most of the race is on smooth surface. Racers would probably loose substancial time on those sections with the added weight, and would not gain nothing but comfort (a secondary concern, for those guys anyway. Your point make perfect sense for 99% of bike riders...) on the rough ones. I've also read that new carbon forks are way more comfortable than metal forks (no first-hand experience with carbon bikes though...), thus making investments in suspended forks less critical.
On the sprint issue, you don't have to be a 'genuine sprinter' to win a finish on a sprint ! Of course, you've got to race all your way up to the sprint. But whoever will came in the front row on the vélodrome
will have to settle things by a sprint. This is quite common on this race, and the added stiffness of a rigid fork may be critical at that point of the race
Now, I can't argue with the tradition argument. It's probably a big factor too. A new design for a suspended fork would have to be really good and reliable to be adopted.