Many pro riders get fitted well and don't need float, so they like the abrupt feel with minimal float
A few remarks to blow this one out of the water
Profesional fitting is hugely overrated. A healthy, flexible person can get quite a good fit by eyeball, a ruler and commons sense. Also, having been fitted doesn't mean you don't need float
Many pro's certainly aren't fitted professionally. Many young pro's are fitted by the mechanics (known pro trick is replacing spacers with smaller spacers to force the riders lower and lower) And they do fine being fitted this way
Many pro's have been riding float pedals with huge succes (Time etc.)
Ummm. Don't read what I said wrongly. First, I was addressing the point that the tension isn't higher on the track version, only more abrupt.
Second, some pros of course need float. But also many people ride with excess float simply because they haven't gotten the precise position such that they can choose to ride with less or no float if that otherwise suits them. Professionals typically have had to deal with fit -- one way or another -- as a necessity of coping with the amount they ride. Any number of teams including most of the large American ones do professional fittings at least to give their riders some help with how to handle various fit issues, including cleats. More Euro teams are doing the same. The old "fitted by the mechanics" is how it was entirely several years ago, but this is changing. It's simply more input and more effort to avoid the old Guimard knee problem that incapacitated many riders when they weren't being fitted as well.
The point of my response was that "many professional riders get fitted well" (I didn't say they have an orthopedist do it, so don't read that into my statement) and "many don't like float" (not all, so don't read that one in either) and they often want a more defined lockout point on the tension and thus use the track versions. That's all. Jeez.