No I haven't presented much evidence, I wasn't on an evidence hunt and didnt really have time to find it, it was an observation of the sport. It also wasnt a critique on the whole sport, merely pointing out that even on very simple technical sections they seem to struggle. I remember watching what I believe was the olympics before last but could have been something else of similar level (to be on normal evening TV), they had what appeared to be a log crossing the trail, followed by a load of rough cobbly rocks - not one tried to ride over the 4-5" log and rocks, most dismounted and ran over the whole section. This sort of defeats the purpose - i mean it might as well be a road ride. I appreciate the whole risk issue and yes, I suspect you and everyone is right this is why it occurs, but I just feel its a bit of a let-down in the viewing stakes. It's dull as hell even for an MTBer to watch, let alone a non-biking spectator. I dont doubt that what they do wins the races they enter, I just think the races they enter _appear_ to be little more than dusty road rides when you take out the technical content they skip.
Well it seems I'm at odds with most people so I'll accept I may well be wrong in my thinking, but my thinking still stands regardless!
myfatherwasawolf - this is a 1m vertical rock drop followed by a 45 degree slope, taken at a similar vantage point and slightly closer distance to that in the link (my local woods, the guy doing the drop is on a rigid cannondale with very light components, not me), though admittedly no rocks in the run-out, but its a lot different to that in the vid. The trail shape is very similar to the olympic one actually, with the trail coming in from top left and turning through some rocks.
Regardless, at no point was I saying anything quantative, I was merely suggesting that the trails look easy enough from the vantage points given and they seem to attack them in a rigid, awkward way and mayvbe they could improve by adjusting that. Not trying to say I have better vision, I have better skills, I am god etc.